Not going to the gym means no machines for cardio, but don't worry you can still get your cardio fix in sans equipment! My favorite type of cardio is actually body weight cardio! The premise is that you are using your own body as a cardio machine. I typically pick 5-6 exercises and do them for 30 seconds to 1 minute all in a row, take a BRIEF (less than one minute) rest and repeat for a twenty minute segment. If I am using weights or doing squats, push ups, planks, or another strength training exercise as well, then I will do a five minute set, do my reps, then another cardio set. I alternate between strength training exercises with cardio bursts to keep my heart rate up, that is the main goal, I don't always follow a routine or repeat the same cardio exercises, variety is a wonderful thing. Just keep your heart rate up and keep moving! The secret to this type of workout's effectiveness is by not resting for extended periods of time, just enough to catch your breath and push on!
Amber's Go-To Cardio Body Weight Exercises
Mock Jump Rope (pretending to use a jumprope)
Wide High Knees (Right arm towards left leg)
Mummy Kicks - for those of you not familiar with insanity, watch this
Burpees - if I'm trying to be extra intense
CHECK OUT this Greatist article which gives a bunch of options for cardio body weight exercises!
Don't like any on the list, do a little more research or make up your own! I also love to do my own series of punches and kicks as my own 'kickboxing' routine to music to keep my heart rate up! You just want to have proper form and intense movements when completing any exercise!
Body Weight Exercises work your muscles without the need for weights or machines. This is what makes them the perfect addition to your at home routine!
Amber's Go-To Body Weight Exercises
Squats - all varieties, check my post here to read about my specific squats and how to photos
Donkey Kick - see squat post for explanation
Fire Hydrant - see squat post for explanation
Push Ups - diamond and regular stance
Chair Tricep Dips - I actually do them with my legs extended, unlike this picture
Bicep Curls (I have weights at home, but you can use canned goods, just do a lot more reps!)
Hand Stand holds (I am just beginning this and need a wall for security purposes)
CHECK OUT this other Greatist Article for other body weight exercises and explanations for each!
Looking for a LONGER list? That includes body weight exercises to get your heart rate going AND strength train? CHECK OUT: 101 Bodyweight Exercises, an awesomely comprehensive and informative post by my friend Will, over at Travel Strong. The exercises are divided into body part categories and plyometrics, along with an explanation and video for each!
Check out the articles, mix and match and try out what works best for you!
Not a believer yet? Check out below how sweaty I got, my shirt was originally light gray! The Polar Watch doesn't lie either, based on that data, looks like a great workout to me that DIDN'T use a gym! I did go for a short run to enjoy some sunshine in addition to my body weight cardio and body weight exercises during this workout, hence the higher calorie burn and duration!
What are you waiting for?
Get off your butt, turn on some beats, and get sweating with body weight cardio & exercises!