3 Alternatives for Cardio-Haters

Most of us share the common battle with cardio. Personally, I find it extremely boring and my endurance is horrible. The issue is that most of us think “running” when we hear the word cardio. Well, thankfully, running is not the only version of cardio out there. So all you need to do is explore and work on finding out what works for you!

 

1.) Plyometrics

Plyometrics, as defined by Google, is “any exercise in which muscles are repeatedly and rapidly stretched (“loaded”) and then contracted (as in jumping high off the ground or in push-ups with a clap between them).” Most of us have seen variations of this on Instagram when fitness trainers post mini-clips of them doing a variation of exercises back-to-back in their living room or their backyard. The reason this falls under cardio is because it is a variation of movements back-to-back which keeps your heart-rate up.

Example:

  • Scissor Jumps (30 seconds)
  • Double-Leg Butt Kicks (10x)
  • Side-to-Side Box Shuffle (30 seconds)
  • Box (Bench) Jumps (10x)
  • Rocket Jump (Frog Leaps) (10x)

(repeat 3-5x)

For more plyometric ideas that are easily done at home or the gym go to BodyBuilding’s Plyometric Page to find several ideas, as well as, search for specific muscle groups worked during exercises. *TIP: Some great purchases to have for plyometrics are a medicine ball, box/platform, cowbell, mini plastic hurdles, cones, and jumprope. Have fun and get creative!

 

2.) HIIT Training

HIIT Training, as defined by Google, is “a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery.” In other words, HIIT is taking a 60 minute jog at the gym and cramming it into 10-25 minutes with faster results.

Example: (beginner-intermediate)

  • Before: Warm-Up 2 minute jog
  • After: Cool-Down 2 minute jog

Repeat 10x:

  • 15 seconds steady-jogging
  • 30 seconds sprinting

Total Length: 11.5 minutes

 

3.) Outdoor Activity

The simplest form of cardio out there and the one we never think of yet we have been doing it since we could walk. Remember being younger meeting up with all of the neighborhood kids and picking up a basketball or kickball or tennis racket? What happened to those days? It would be an off-day if we went even one day without playing outdoors whether it be gym class, practice, or playing with friends. Somewhere and somehow we lost all of that to working late-hours, nightly tv-shows, and meeting colleagues out for drinks. We need to train our brain and bodies to pick up that old ball and step outdoors for fresh air again. Try to make it a regime once a week to get out and play. Soon you’ll be finding yourself craving it all the time. Hours of cardio-without even realizing it.

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