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Friday Fitness: No Equipment, No Excuses Cardio Workout Routine

So let’s be honest, sometimes it is hard to get to the gym. Whether it is freezing temperatures and ice on the road, or a weekend away where exercise equipment is at a premium, there are times when it seems nearly impossible to get to the gym. So should we tell ourselves, “oh well, I tried” or “oh yes, time to get creative!”

Well, I am going to get creative for you and give you 10 bodyweight cardio exercises that can be done anywhere—at home or even on vacation! So no excuses for not getting that heart rate up!

Heart Pumping Exercises:

  • Skip: Flash back to the playground for this fun activity. Starting on the right foot, jump off the ground, drawing the left knee into the chest. Land softly on the right foot and then explode up on the left foot, drawing the right knee into the chest.
  • High Knees: This one can be done at high or low intensity. Alternate bringing one knee into the chest, then place it on the ground; alternate with the other leg. Pick up the pace for some quick cardio.
  • Jumping Jack: An obvious but good cardio exercise. Start in a standing position, hands by your sides and legs together. Jump your legs out, wider than shoulder width apart and bring your arms straight up over your head; return to starting position. To modify, maintain the arm movement up over head but step side to side instead of jumping.
  • Burpee: The pushup is optional in this exercise, but included for some extra strength if you chose to challenge yourself even more. Start in an upright, standing position, bend down and place hands on the ground by your feet. Kick your feet back or step back to a plank position. Hold (insert push-up here if comfortable) and then jump or walk feet back to hands and jump up. Repeat.
  • Mountain climber: Start in a plank position on the ground, bring one knee in toward the chest then replace and alternate with the other leg. Pick up the pace to really move over those mountains.
  • Squat jump: Begin by lowering down into a squat and then jump up putting air between your feet and the ground. To engage the arms, drop them toward the ground as you are lowering into the squat and push straight up into the air as you are jumping.
  • Long jump: You don’t have to be facing a pit of sand to enjoy the benefits of the long jump. Start by lowering into a slight squat position, pump the arms and jump forward landing with soft knees and both feet at the same time.
  • Jump rope: These are small jumps up and down, landing with soft knees (slight bend). If you don’t have a jump rope then simply move the hands like you were holding the handles. A jump rope is a great piece of fitness equipment because it doesn’t take up too much space in your suitcase when traveling!
  • Bicycle: Lie on your back with your feet at a 90 degree angle in the air: knees right under the hip, and feet in line with the knees. Keep the hands by the hips and alternate extending each leg and drawing in. It’s just like riding a bike!
  • Flutter kicks: Not just for the pool. Lie on your stomach with hands folded in front of you, relax either your head or chin onto your hands. Squeezing the glutes and lifting the legs off the ground, flutter the legs continuously. Try lifting the thighs up off the ground too. Kick, kick, kick, kick!
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