How to get a cardio workout without doing jumping jacks, burpees, and high knees


By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article publishedAug 29, 2020

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Regular cardio workouts can strengthen your heart and blood vessels, improve the flow of oxygen throughout your body.

But the truth is we don’ want to do burpess and high knees all the time.

Lucky for you, you could get a cardio workout in without doing jumping jacks, burpees, and high knees?

According to fitness expert Andrea Marcellus, there are several ways to increase intensity and up your heart rate without performing high-impact movements.

In fact, performing low-impact moves at a quicker pace not only strengthens muscles while simultaneously getting your heart rate up (hello multitasking!), it also helps to avoid injury and stave off osteoporosis. For a low-impact, highly-effective burst of cardio, Marcellus suggests:

Doing any standing movements with your arms raised, as this brings more muscle groups into the work, increasing the demand for oxygen – which forces your lungs to take in more air and your heart to pump it out to your muscles faster.

Strategically using isometrics (holding positions) with large muscle groups (i.e. holding a squat or a lunge) or total body exercises (i.e. holding a plank or a down dog) in between concentric/eccentric workout moves (everything that involves movement).

Sample workout

  • Prisoner Squat to Mermaid – 15 reps
  • Back Lunge with Rotation – 15 reps each leg
  • Twisting Knee Plank to Down Dog – 10 reps
  • Kneeling Star Leg Swings – 20 reps each leg
  • Leg Lift Down Dog to Plank – 10 reps each leg
  • Push-Ups – As many as you can; any kind of push-up will give you a burst of cardio.


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