When you want to take your workout up a notch test some of these out!
You have been doing your basic weight training and are starting to think you want to raise the bar just a bit. Well aside from that fact that you should be raising your weight regularly for more of a challenge, you can also be adding in some cardio interval training. Best of all you do not even need any fancy equipment.
There are a variety of things you can add into your routine for cardio intervals depending on your situation and what is available to you. If you are one of the lucky people that have your own home gym or you workout at a really slow gym then you can be running for a minute on the treadmill, the elliptical or the stationary bike between your weight training sets. If you do not have the option of jumping back and forth between machines or if you are working out outdoors then there are plenty of other great options. Let’s take a look at a few:
#1 Jump Roping
Many people love jump roping because it is an inexpensive and very portable piece of equipment that is actually fun! That’s right, fun! When you are jump roping, you are learning coordination, which is a learned skill and makes the exercise more of a game. Even better, once you feel your jump roping is getting to easy you can get a weighted rope to up the ante. There are also a ton of different types of jumps and combinations you can use to keep it interesting. It can take a very, very long time to get bored with the jump rope.
#2 Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are great because not only do they get your heart racing but you also get some light plyometric action going with the jumping. The other great thing with jumping jacks is you can do them anywhere, you need to special equipment and we have all done them in school, so even if you do not feel super coordinated doing them, chances are you know how to do them.
#3 Running in Place
Yes it can be boring to run in place, but it is an option. An even better idea is to run laps in the gym, as long as you are not in anyone’s way. You can also run in place while pushing against a wall. You not only get some running in but you get some really good resistance as well. For the wall runs you would place your palms on a wall with your arms out stretched and think about moving the wall while you run. This is quite challenging. If you would like a different type of challenge with your running in place then you could do high knees. This is where you are bringing your knees as high as you can in towards your chest. The faster you go the more effective it is!
#4 Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are essentially doing a plank while running at the same time. You start out in a push up like position or plank position with arms at full length and then you bring one knee into the chest and back out straight and then other leg back and forth as fast as you can and keep that rhythm going. When done correctly they are not only a killer cardio interval, but also they work your core as well!
It's funny how as children we loved skipping. It was fun and we did not even think about it as a workout. But let me tell you, skipping is a killer cardio workout. You will be amazed at how fast you get winded. With skipping you can keep it simple and low to the ground or if you want even more bang for your buck, get as much vertical as you can while skipping. This will be very plyometric and challenge not only your lungs but your muscles as well.
#6 Stairs or Step Ups
Stairs are amazing for your cardio. They are challenging and can be altered to make it harder. You can up the ante by doing two steps at a time and sprinting up the stairs verses walking them. One thing is for sure, no matter how in shape you are stairs can give you a killer workout. The stairs are great when you have them in the gym to do between sets or if you are working out at a beach or a park. Do one set of your weight training exercise, and then depending on how many flights there are, do one lap or more the stairs. If stairs is not an option you can always get a box or platform to do step ups. This is the same principle, but instead of going all the way up and then all the way down in large swaths, you are doing an up and down movement with every step.
If you are outside or if your gym has an indoor track then sprinting is a great idea. Sprints boost your cardiovascular endurance so quickly due to the intensity. It also does not take much thinking, just a lot of determination.
#8 Boxing or Shadow Boxing
If you are someone who enjoys fighting or has wanted to learn fighting, then you may want to do some boxing drills between sets. If your gym has a punching bag you can use you will get much more of a workout. If not you can always do some shadow boxing and add some wrist weights for some added umpf.
This is just the beggining.
Again, these are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing. You can do whatever kind of interval you like as long as it is getting your heart rate up and pumping. Putting cardio intervals into your training routine will make your workouts more intense and give you the ability to get a better workout in with less time commitment. Now you have the information you need for this, so go out and kick some butt!