Whilst I usually do my cardio at the gym, sometimes if I just need to get in a quick thirty minutes of cardio I will opt to do it at home. Not only does this save me my usual faffing around time trying to get in to the actual gym (parking car, untying the massive knot in my headphones, locating my gym card which will have hidden itself somewhere in my bag, filling my water up, checking my phone, etc etc. I am queen of faffing) it is also a great way of adding variation to my cardio routine.
Your body can adapt very quickly to you hopping on the nearest stepper and steady-stating it for 30 minutes 4x a week, meaning it becomes far less effective for fat burning the more you do it. Whilst the machine might say you have burnt 300+ carlories, in reality it is likely to be much less than this. Therefore at least once or twice a week I will mix it up and do a HIIT or plyometric workout. Most of the time I make it up every time, and I vary the intensity depending on how tired my legs are from weight training! My legs were absolutely dead from my workout 2 days ago, so I omitted some of the variations of a squat jump that I usually incorporate. Instead I went for a skipping rope, which was much easier on my quads but still gets my heart rate right up! In between each plyometric movement I did 1 minute of skipping, mainly because I can’t skip for much longer than that without whipping myself about a million times. Also because this adds more of a “HIIT” element, as my heart rate will already be pretty high for when I go into the jumps.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is known to be a particularly effective form of cardio, as it makes your body continue to burn fat even after you’ve finished. You can also burn more in a much shorter time, making it a more favourable type of cardio to many. Plyometric or jumping movements are also meant to be great for increasing muscular endurance and agility, not to mention they also really get your heart rate going! So for my home workouts I try to combine these two elements.
Here’s my cardio routine that’s sure to have you sweating buckets:
1. Burpees x 20
Jump straight up and land with bent knees and touching the floor, then jump out into a straight arm plank position, parallel to the floor. Some people drop so that their body completely lies flat on the ground, and by all means go for that, but I’m not that great at these to start off with – so I skipped that bit.
2. 1 min skipping
If you end up stacking it a few times in that minute don’t worry, just keep jumping. I sometimes abandon the rope completely and mimic the movement if I have less than 15 seconds left and I mess up and rather than starting it over again. Just keep moving.
2. Jumping jacks x 20
Bend your knees and touch the floor. Jump straight up into a star position and then back down to the floor. Keep your head up and your bum down at the bottom, this makes the burn in your legs much more intense!
10-20 secs rest if needed
4. 1 min skipping again!
If you don’t have a rope then just do the jump movement without one, or if you really want to challenge yourself do squat jumps or in and out jumps on rotation instead of the skipping intervals.
5. Jumping lunges x20 (each leg)
Start in a lunge position and jump up, swapping your legs over in the air and landing with the opposite leg forward. This is one rep. I keep my hands on my hips to stay balanced. (the video didn’t record of me doing this one – sorry!)
6. You guessed it, 1 min skipping
20-30 seconds rest
Repeat 4-5 times.
I use the gym boss app on my phone which has a timer that counts down and beeps at different intervals that you set. I usually set mine to go off every minute for 30 minutes so I can watch the clock for the skipping intervals.
I hope you like the routine and let me know if any of you try it!
I have posted the video on my Instagram and Facebook as well if you want to see a demo: