Cardiovascular exercise doesn’t have to take the form of distance running or lengthy sessions on machines. Incorporate these moves into any workout to increase your heart rate and burn calories.
Planks strengthen the upper body and the core, and variations can make them challenging cardio workouts. While in a plank position on your hands, jump both feet out to the sides and back together for plank jacks. Do mountain climbers by alternating steps forward and pulling in the knee towards the chest. Jump both feet forward to land between your hands for a plank tuck. Adding these jumps and tucks with the lower body will quickly increase your heart rate.
Adding a jump to any move makes it more difficult and increases your heart rate. You can turn a lower body strength move into a cardio workout by jumping between repetitions. Jump into the air as you stand from a squat or jump as you switch feet during alternating lunges.
A classic athletic training move, you can use quick feet to boost the cardiovascular benefit of your workout. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat down a little by bending the knees. Quickly shuffle your feet, but stay in one place. The lower you squat during the shuffle, the more challenging it will be for your lower body muscles and your cardiovascular system. Incorporate 30 to 60 seconds of quick feet any time you want to add a quick burst of cardio.
Kick with a Runner’s Lunge
Using all the major muscle groups to move the body up and down is a good way to increase the heart rate. From a standing position, lift the right knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor, and kick your foot out in front of you. Lower the leg and extend it behind you as you plant the toes of your right foot on the ground while bending the left knee into a runner’s lunge. Your hands should touch the ground next to your left foot. Move more quickly and add a small hop on the left foot as you kick to increase intensity. Repeat the kick and lunge on the right side for 30 seconds before switching legs.