6 cardio exercises to do at home
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For these exercises you will need to set two objects approximately three metres apart on the ground.
1. Short shuttle runs
What it’s good for: Hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, calves and cardiovascular fitness.
How to do it: Jog from one marker to the other and back touching down with your leading hand each time.
How to progress: Increase your jogging speed between the markers or complete the shuttles in an extended plank position by walking laterally on your hands and feet.
How to regress: Reduce the impact by walking or marching between the markers. Alternatively, remove the markers and jog on the spot.
2. High knee shuttle runs
What it’s good for: Calves, quads, abdominals and cardiovascular fitness.
How to do it: Travel between the markers by jogging whilst lifting your knees up towards or above your hips. Touch down on the markers with your leading hand.
How to progress: Increase the speed or distance between the markers.
How to regress: Reduce the impact by marching with high knees between the markers or march on the spot.
3. Travelling squat jumps
What it’s good for: Strengthen legs, glutes and core muscles. Build explosive power. Improve cardiovascular fitness.
How to do it: With your feet shoulder-width apart, inhale as you lower your hips back and down gently into a standard squat. Exhale and explode forwards driving hard with your legs and pushing with the balls of your feet.
Cushion your landing with your knees slightly bent before sinking into your next squat and jump forwards. Aim to travel one large stride forward per squat jump and travel back and forth between the markers.
How to progress: Increase the distance between the markers and aim to increase the distance of each squat jump.
How to regress: Reduce the impact by performing a squat and alternate with a forward step to travel between the markers.
4. Walking lunges
What it’s good for: Hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, core and the hard-to-reach muscles of your inner thighs.
How to do it: Whilst keeping your upper body straight with shoulders back, take a step forward with one leg. Lower your hips until both knees are flexed close to 90 degrees, ensuring your front knee doesn't go beyond your foot. Continue your movement forward by bringing your back foot forward and straight into your next lunge. Travel back and forth between the markers.
How to progress: Add some resistance by holding a weight or object to your chest.
How to regress: Pause after each lunge or reduce the range of movement by not lowering both knees as close to 90 degrees.
5. Bear crawl
What it’s good for: Abdominal muscles, calves, glutes and quads.
How to do it: Start on all fours with the hands shoulder-width apart with knees bent and feet directly behind the body about hip-width apart. Leading with your hands, start crawling forwards ensuring your knees do not touch the floor. Travel back and forth between the markers.
How to progress: Increase the distance between the markers or add a push up at the end of each length.
How to regress: Drop your knees to the floor each time you reach a marker.
6. Squat walk
What it’s good for: Improve hip stability, strengthen the hip abductors and increase stability of the knee joint.
How to do it: Position your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and move into a half-squat position to activate the glutes. Keep your feet in line with your shoulders and face forward with your body weight evenly distributed over both feet. Maintaining the half-squat position, start walking back and forth between the markers.
How to progress: Complete the squat walks with your hips at knee height or increase the distance between the markers.
How to regress: Add a length of normal walking between each squat walk.
David Morris Content Contributor, Warwick Sport
David is an avid runner and writes about different aspects of fitness, health and wellbeing. He enjoys running, fitness classes and outdoor activities with his daughters.
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