Sneak in a quick sweat sesh with these heart-pumping exercises that will leave you breathless in a good way. All you need is 10 minutes.
Cardio workouts can be mundane at times – spinning on a stationary bike, pounding on the pavement, swimming laps… Spice it up by doing bodyweight exercises, a convenient form of strength training as they do not require any weights or equipment.
These bodyweight exercises, in particular, combine both strength training and cardio endurance that is sure to challenge your fitness and leave you barely able to speak in a matter of seconds – if you do them right.
When your heart rate increases, more blood is pumped to your lungs and muscles at a faster rate, improving your cardio fitness level. A strong heart lowers your risk of diabetes and blood pressure, and reduces the unhealthy fat in your bloodstream. Good cardiovascular health also helps you maintain a healthy weight by increasing your metabolism and improving fat burn.
One way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. If your heart rate does not go down during your rest intervals, try reducing the workout intensity.
Here’s a simple 10-minute workout plan: Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds in between.
Inchworm with push-up
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward from hips and place palms on ground. Walk forward with hands until you are in a plank position. Complete a push-up, then walk hands back to feet and stand up. Continue for 45 seconds.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bending legs slightly, hop to the left side, as far as you can, landing on your left foot. Bend your right leg to keep your balance. Hop back across on your right foot, and bend your left leg. Continue for 45 seconds.
(Also read: 12 Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises To Make You Run Faster)
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Run in place and drive your knees towards your chest. Pump your arms to gain momentum. Keep your core engaged and land lightly on the balls of your feet. Continue for 45 seconds.
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width. Push butt back and bend knees as you squat. Keep your back straight. Jump up as high as you can, straightening your legs as you do so. Land on the balls of your feet with soft knees. Continue for 45 seconds.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and drop forward, placing palms below your shoulders. Kick legs straight out behind you and immediately lower your entire body to the ground, bending at your elbows. Quickly push yourself back up and jump forward so that feet are between your palms. Jump straight up with your arms stretched overhead, before landing softly on the balls of your feet. Continue for 45 seconds.
Start in a high plank, palms directly under shoulders. Draw right knee to chest and quickly extend it back. Drive left knee to chest, before extending it back. Switch legs quickly such that you are running in place. Continue for 45 seconds.
Start in a high plank, palms directly under shoulders. Engage your core and jump your feet out and in. Keep back straight and ensure your butt is not lifted up. Continue for 45 seconds.
(Also read: Plank Variation: 20 Ways To Do Planks)
Start in a lunge position with right leg in front, both legs bent at 90 degrees. Place hands at the side with your core engaged and back straight. Jump up and switch legs mid-air such that your left leg is in front. Land softly on the balls of feet. Continue for 45 seconds, alternating sides.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, extending both arms straight to the side with palms facing down. This is the starting position. Jump and cross right foot over your left and your right hand over your left. Immediately jump back to starting position. Jump again, this time with opposite hand and foot. Continue for 45 seconds.
(Also read: 6 Delicious Foods That Protect Your Heart)
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with knees slightly bent and body hinged forward at the hips. Lower body forward, place palms on ground and immediately jump legs back into a high plank. Jump your feet to the outsides of your hand. Do this continuously for 45 seconds.