Seven super cardio boosters for home training

As the sun is withdrawing and we are more likely to move indoors with our physical activities, I’ve made a list with ‘bang for your buck’ heart-pumping cardio exercises that you can do at home. 

There’s no reason to let the excuse of rain or cold ruin your exercise plans and with a little planning you are good to go on these exercises within minutes.

Equipment: 1) Floorspace. You’ll need space on the floor to do Jumping Jacks, without risk of knocking anything over. And space to do a push up (full body length), again without getting tangled into table legs.

2) A Mat. A yoga mat can be nice as it both gives a little protection to both floor, hands, knees and feet. 

3) A towel and some water. You want a something to wipe the sweat from your face and a ready water to sip from. Just as if you were in the gym.

4) A watch. A stopwatch on your phone or watch can be handy, so you can time the exercises. If you’re doing Tabatas you’ll need a timer. 

5) Music. This is not a must, but I find it often gives me energy to push a little more (depending on the tune of course). 

You can do these as a warm up or as the main exercise if you like. If you want a really sweat-dripping session, you can turn them into a ‘Tabata’ session and go full power (I’ll explain in the end), or you can use them to simply start your day with movement, by doing the exercises slower. 

Let’s meet the cardio monsters: 1) Knee to Elbow. On light toes. High knee (left) to opposite elbow (right), back in place and switch. Do it fast. 

2) Lunges with arms overhead. Stand normal, take a long step forward to a lunge. Lift both arms straight above your head, arms back down as you step back. Arms up again with opposite leg lunge. No breaks between lunges. Keep the motion fluent. 

3) Jump Squats with arms overhead. Stand normal with feet at shoulder width. Jump up and come down in a deep squat. As you come down, lift your arms straight above your head, so when you land in the squat, your arms are up. As you stand up and getting ready to jump again, the arms come down. 

4) Burpees. Yes, the good old Burpee gets a mention here. It is after all one of the king exercises, which works on both cardio and strength. Stand feet with shoulder width, jump straight up with arms straight above your head (Yes, you can clap or not), upon landing squat down with hands to the ground. Next ‘kick’ your legs out back, so they’re straight and you land in the push up position. (Remember to tighten your abs and back). Jump feet back to squat position, stand up and jump again. 

5) Mountain Climbers. Start in the push up position. Remember to lock your ab and back (core) tight. Take a step with left knee to chest/between arms, ‘kick’ it back out and right knee in. Continue to alternate left and right in a fast pace, while you keep your trunk steady and back straight.

6) Jumping Jacks. Stand up tall. Jump legs out in a wide stance and at the same time lift your arms, straight above your head or to shoulder height. (You can clap above your head), jump feet back together again and arms down at the same time. Repeat wide stance/feet together – arms up/arms down.

7) Skiing. Stand up, instead of jumping your feet out wide, jump left leg forward and right leg backwards, so you land in a ‘walking’ position. Let your arms move alongside your legs. Left arm up in front of you and right arm behind you. Switch foot and arm position simultaneously fast paced.

All these exercises, except for the burpees*, can be used as a warm-up, if eased into, and once heart is pumping and your body feels warm, you can add more pace.

(* Due to the jump into push up stance, I would make sure body is warm before doing burpees).

If you want to use the Tabata, you can choose one of the exercises, for example Mountain Climbers for all four rounds, or do a new exercise for every four minute block. The choice is yours, just remember the 20 seconds need to be full on, to get the best of the exercise.

A Tabata is: four minutes of 20 seconds hard work, 10 seconds break. two minutes break before the the next four minute block. Do four x four minutes total. 

And last, since we’re going towards darker days, if you’re feeling low on energy and tired, take a D-Vitamin supplement, eat well and nutritiously, and follow your exercise plan. Energy spent well, will return tenfold to you. Meaning go for your run, do your Tabata, go to the class – you will feel better for it afterwards both physically and mentally and that feeling will carry over to other sides of life than exercise. Even in the autumn.

Happy training! Exercises will be filmed and posted to my Instagram: @trainwithadane

Comments and Questions are as always welcome: or via 

Tania Presutti

Tania Presutti is a Danish freelance journalist and fitness professional who now resides in Clonakilty.

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