When we think of a fat crushing cardio workout, a long run outside or killing time on the treadmill might spring to mind. Long distance running, whether it be in the gym or on your nearest hiking trail, isn’t the only way to squash calories and get your heart pumping.
Snap out of your regular regimen and explore new possibilities with some easy to do high impact cardio workouts.
These exercises will help you burn fat and tone muscles for a sexy lean look. The great thing about them is that they don’t take long to do and they burn calories at a rapid rate.
Each exercise will challenge your body in different ways and work your core muscles and lower body, while offering a fun twist your routine.
Crawl it or Climb it: Agility Ladder Training
The purpose of an agility ladder is to promote quick feet, while developing dynamic movements and foot coordination. The exercises we are going to mention will get you to use your hip muscles mostly, as well as your arms and chest.
This quick paced routine will leave no body part unoccupied. If you push yourself to the max you can burn 15 calories a minute. At the end of these cardio workouts you will be drenched in sweat.
Exercise 1: High Knee Side Shuffle + Floor Touch
How to: Starting at one end of the ladder. With feet hip width apart, side shuffle with high knees to the other side of the ladder then touch the floor and repeat the process back to the start. You want to go as fast as you can and get your knees up as high as you can. You should step both feet into each box and keep your arms pumping while keeping focus on your breathing. Do this for 30 seconds.
Exercise 2: Ladder Squat jump
How to: Again, starting at one end of the ladder, this time facing the ladder. You are going to squat jump across the ladder. Hop to the first square with both feet outside of it, squat and touch the floor. Then hop inside the square and do the same. Now do this for every square of the ladder.
Try your best to not touch the ladder. Go as fast you can and keep pushing for 30 seconds. When you reach the end, repeat until 30 seconds are up.
Exercise 3: Ladder Plank Hops
How to: First, get into push up position over the ladder. You are going to hop into the first two squares you are currently positioned over, then back out. Then side jump to the right square and then over to the left square. Do this repeatedly for one minute.
Try to go as fast as you can. In addition, these hops will work your core muscles and your obliques. Also, the faster you go, the more calories you’ll burn.
Jump or step up: Plyo Box Cardio
Plyo box workouts require minimal space, a simple wooden box or plyo box, and only a few minutes to jump start your heart rate and get your body burning calories.
A wooden box is really a great and useful piece of equipment because it can last an eternity, and there’s countless ways to use it to enhance strength and endurance.
However, if you can’t get a hold of a box then a high bench or stairs are terrific alternatives. Whatever you decide to use, just make sure it is safe and stable so you don’t injure yourself.
Here are 4 cardio exercises you can do using a plyo box.
Exercise 1: 10 rep quick step
How to: This one is as simple as it gets, in addition it is a very effective fat burning workout. Start at the front of your box(or bench). Simply tap your foot quickly onto the box with whatever foot you choose to begin with and then step down.
Then do the same with the opposite foot. Do this as fast as you can repeatedly ten times. Focus on your breathing and pumping your arms.
If you manage to have a set of three boxes, you can start with the shortest one and work your way up to the taller ones.
Exercise 2: Elevated Knee Touches
How to: Start in a push up position with both your feet on the box or elevated surface.
Push up through your shoulders and bring one knee as close as you can to one shoulder. Then straighten your knee to normal position with foot touching the surface of the box. Repeat exercise with opposite leg.
Exercise 3: Plyo Box dips
How to: With your back facing the plyo box, place both hands on the box. Dip down the back up to normal position. do this repeatedly for 30 seconds.
This workout will make your triceps burn. Also, to make it much harder on yourself stick your legs straight out in front of you. Remember, Quality is more important than quantity.
Exercise 4: Box Jumps
How to: Start facing the box and simply jump up onto it and then jump down. Do these for 30 seconds and feel the burn. However, the key to doing this exercise is technique.
Make sure your feet are flat at the landing and not shifting. Your knees should be in neutral position , and your abbs should be tight and braced. Once you land your chest and eyes should be upright. Any tilting in your body is bad form. Once you jump onto the box, pause for a second to reduce risk of injury.
Full Body Plyometrics Workouts
These workouts are done without any equipment. In order to maximize potential it is recommended that you do 10 sets of 3-5 reps. If you try and do more reps then you might be too fatigued to complete your sets at the best of your abilities. This is vital to your performance.
So aim to rest 30-40 seconds between each set. Doing sets will challenge your body to new heights and whip it into shape. You can also save valuable time by incorporating these exercises into your daily routine considering they don’t take long to complete.
Here are 3 power workouts.
Exercise 1: Ply ups
How to: Start in a position similar to a push up with legs straight out behind you. Having mentioned that, the difference with this and a push up is that your wrists should be placed directly under your shoulders.
Now lower your chest to the floor as close as possible and then push up with force so that your body leaves the ground for about a second, then land gently.
Exercise 2: One legged squats
How to: Start in normal standing position. Balance with one leg behind you, and arms straight out in front of you.
Now while keeping your back straight, squat down and lower your body as close to the floor as possible without allowing your back leg to touch the floor. Stay in position for a second and then raise back up in normal position.
Exercise 3: Side Bounding
How to: Bounding targets the hip muscles. Bounding is when you are jumping or leaping side to side in one direction. This technique is going to take some training to master but it is worth it. Although, for now we are going to go over the basics of how to complete this exercise.
Start by leaping with your right or left leg to that side. Practice keeping your opposite foot off the ground and in front of your body near the foot that is making the jump.
This will help ready that foot to complete the next leap. Make sure your foot, when landing, is parallel to the grounds surface. Do this exercise in one direction and do as many jumps as you see fit. A more specific description and video is located here at freelapusa.