Effective Cardio Exercise
HIIT and weight training is great. But cardio exercise can also be effective if done correctly. Don’t get stuck in a cardio rut! Try adding these cardio exercises to your usual workout to change things up – this also makes a great outdoor cardio workout.
Jump rope is a great cardio exercise for warming up. Once you’ve mastered basic jump rope, try to change things up by adding in some tricks. Crossing arms, side straddle, and squatting whilst jump roping are all super fun and will help to change up the intensity. Start with 5 minutes of jump roping and increase as soon as you start to get comfortable!
TIP: make sure your jump rope is the right length for you – hold each handle and stand your toes on the rope. The handles should reach your arm pits!
Agility training is great for your endurance and is an often forgotten form of effective cardio exercise.
Start by imagining a ladder laying horizontally across the floor (even better, get an agility ladder). Quick-step across the ‘ladder’ by alternating feet as quickly as possible. Increase your speed to increase the intensity of the exercise. Start with sets of 8 reps (1 time across the ladder is 1 rep). Aim for 5-6 sets of 8 reps, and build to 8 sets.
For more great agility exercises, check out Speed, Agility and Quickness. It’s a fantastic book for agility and field exercises!
TIP: you may wish to do your cardio exercise routine outside in a park or field to ensure you have enough space. It’s also great to breathe in some fresh air whilst working out!
Forget the incline on the treadmill. I like to do my hill sprints outside! Don’t get me wrong, I do use the incline, but I sometimes like to take my cardio outdoors.
Hill sprints are a highly effective cardio exercise because they improve your aerobic fitness, stamina and endurance. Find a steep hill, sprint up it as fast as you can, and jog back down. If you’re a complete novice to hill sprints, start with 3 hill sprints. If 3 don’t completely challenge you, keep on going until fatigue.
Another great cardio exercise for stamina. This one also works your legs and butt too. Make sure you land on the box in a deep squat and stay light on your feet. If you’re trying this workout outdoors, find a park bench or a low, stable wall. I use a park bench when doing my outdoor cardio workouts. Try 10-20 reps with jump rope in between, and do 3 sets. You should be feeling it by now!
Add the above cardio exercises into your workout routine and you should notice an improvement to your endurance and stamina. Not a fan of working out outdoors? Try my favourite cardio exercises for the gym!