When you come across the word “cardio,” the first thing you will probably associate it with is running. However, cardio is far more diverse than that. In fact, the best type of cardio workout is composite exercises which target different joints and muscle groups. If you want to know the best cardio workouts that you could try, continue reading below to find out more.
Importance of Cardio Exercises
At MPower Fitness Coaching, we define cardiovascular or cardio exercise as any movement that heightens the heart rate to enhance the flow of oxygen to the body. It can be anything from cycling, walking, rowing, and swimming to more intense activities like skipping and running.
In most cases, the vitality of cardio workouts cannot be taken for granted. Sedentary lifestyles and lethargic behavior can also result in lowered blood circulation because of compressed veins and this can impact the blood pressure regulation of the body. This usually led to irregular heart rhythm, heart attacks, and strokes.
Through regular cardio workouts at MPower Fitness Coaching, heart health is improved because it helps the body control blood pressure and lowers the chance of heart failure. It also decreases total body fat, as well as hip and waist circumference, which are essential signals of health.
Biologically speaking, it enhances the heart’s wellbeing and its capacity to provide oxygen-rich blood to all the muscles, enabling them to facilitate movement. Cardio exercise is essential to improve heart fitness and thus, it should be added to your daily activities.
Cardio Exercises To Try
One thing that people can agree on is the fact that intensity is very important. As intensity increases, more calories are eliminated. This is why high-intensity interval workouts are great for weight loss while also maintaining or gaining muscles.
Below are highly-recommended cardio exercises to help you lose weight quickly and achieve the figure that you’ve been eyeing to have:
Stationary Bike strengthens your endurance through lower-intensity yet longer-lasting exercises. The only problem with this type of exercise is it is dragging since it is slow and lengthy.
Rowing offers you a low-impact workout that is specifically beneficial if you have joint problems. Compared to other exercises, this is a full-body workout. In fact, a 160-pound person can lose approximately 250 calories by rowing for 30 minutes.
Running (moderate pace)
Running at a moderate speed is an incredible way to lose calories and fat, however, it is not the most efficient way to maintain or strengthen muscle. If you want to keep up with your aerobic ability, an adequate, long run once every few weeks should do the trick. It involves plenty of mileage for the effort and time you will spend.
The downside? Running using the pace can also corrupt your muscles and lead to massive pounding. With this, if you are planning to incorporate a long run once in a while in your cardio workout, go for softer surfaces or trails and by all means, skip blacktop and cement. If you find running too boring, you can join your local running club or try out other routes around your neighborhood.
The stair climber is another famous cardio exercise for calorie and fat burning, however for only 500-600 calories per 180-lb. at a moderate pace. Since this exercise involves intense leg lift, it utilizes more muscles that efficiently strengthen your legs, compared to just walking. The only problem is stair climbers put intense pressure and weight on the joints, making it hard for individuals with knee problems.
The most effective way to lose unwanted fat using a stair climber is to use 90% or more effort for about 30 seconds per 1-2 minute ‘active recovery,’ with medium-weight dumbbells or kettlebells to activate the upper body and build core strength. Incorporating at least 10-15 minutes of stair climber on your cardio workout will upgrade your training and help you lose more weight.
There are plenty of reasons why jump rope is one of the most popular routines in a cardio workout – it is easy to do, affordable, levels up foot speed, and eliminates massive tons of calories. It is also a staple in any wrestler, boxer, or fighter’s training regimen.
Jumping rope not only improves footwork, coordination, and shoulder strength, it also supports sprinting, helping you lose more than 500 calories in just about 30 minutes. Though there are only limited people who can perform jumping rope for straight 30 minutes, the most efficient way to burn fat using a jump rope is to follow intervals of slow and fast jumps to get you through the entire routine.
The skaters impact your glutes and hip abductor muscles. This means that this particular exercise movement will assist you in strengthening your single-leg explosive power and incorporating a higher jump when you alternate your legs will even increase its intensity.
To perform skaters, stand up and jump several feet going to your right. Land using your right leg while bending your left knee in front of you, right arm raised, left arm position at your side, and elbow bent at about 90 degrees. To reverse the movement, hop using your left foot and repeat the similar steps using your opposite side. That concludes one rep.
Burpee 180 Jump
The Burpee 180 jump is a favorite at MPower Fitness Coaching. It will work your chest, shoulders, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and muscles. To do the Burpee 180 jump, begin by positioning yourself in a squat stance, and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Lower your hips and position your palms on the floor. Jump back to a low plank and submerge yourself to the ground. Pick your body up and reverse the exercise, this time, you will land back in a squat position. Jump around while you are facing the opposite direction. After this, repeat the burpee in the other direction. That comprises one rep.
Lateral Toe Taps
Lateral Toe Tap is a great speed drill that facilitates hip activation using a single-leg stance. It also improves stability and balance. To perform this exercise, place a kettlebell, dumbbell, cone, or any type of target between your feet. Start with your right foot placed on top of the target, maintain your weight on your left foot. Promptly switch feet so the left foot is on top of the target – that makes up one rep.
Rollbacks enhance your mobility and coordination, aside from building your core. Start this movement in a standing position. In one swift motion, sit down and roll back on the floor, driving your heels and hips upwards. Roll back again to stand up on your feet. That makes up one rep.
Lateral Shuffle Taps
Lateral Shuffle Taps is another amazing speed drill that will ultimately challenge your reaction time and work your entire lower body. Start this movement in a quarter squat, make sure the distance of your feet is wider than your hip distance, move several places to the left and touch the ground using the fingertips on your left hand. Move back and this time, touch the ground using your right hand when you are at the starting point. That makes up one rep.
Sit-outs is a versatile exercise that strengthens your shoulders, glutes, core, and quadriceps. It also improves your coordination and mobility. Apart from this, it enhances your cognitive function since it demands learning to brand new motor patterns. To perform sit-outs, begin in a table-top position while your knees slightly floating off the floor, your shoulders over your wrists, and your knees positioned under your hips. Start kicking one leg forward, threading it under the other leg, while lifting your opposite arm as you submerge your hip to the ground. Kick your heel back to begin and do similar steps in the opposite direction. That makes up one rep.
Bench Runners will enhance your agility and build your glutes and quads. To perform this, stand in front of a box and place your foot on top of it while your left foot remains on the floor. Switch the position of your feet instantly and that concludes one rep.
The elliptical is a high-intensity interval training which means you alternate periods of intense workout and your recoveries are made of lighter-intensity exercise. The result? Great calorie burn in just a short amount of time.
A treadmill will challenge you by using intervals so you earn consistent changes with the help of speed, incline, and intensity. It will assist you in getting fitter while working out less. You can also walk or run, it depends on your preference.
Burning unwanted fat and sculpting your body into its best shape doesn’t happen overnight. At MPower Fitness Coaching, we tell our clients that this includes diet, proper lifestyle, and the best cardio exercise.
However, a well-rounded fitness routine must be tailored to your needs and fitness level. If you are looking for more advanced routines, give us a call at MPower Fitness Coaching!