You must be aware that cardio is an important component of your workout routine if your goal is to lose weight or stay ripped, but to get a good cardio workout at home can be challenging & expensive. A treadmill or a stationary bike can set you off an easy $300 to $400.
Unfortunately, cardio is extremely, no let me rephrase it, it is “EXCESSIVELY” boring. Yet is HAS to be done.
In the last 20 years, many alternative approaches to cardio came into our lives.
Get the Best Cardio Workouts at Home with these options
1. HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
This was a wonderful replacement to the slow boring cardio routine. Unlike the boring 60 to 90 minute run on the treadmill or stationary bike, HIIT makes you beg for a few more seconds to catch your breath.
1 minute of rest feels like 10 seconds.
You would run fast for 30 seconds, take a break for 30 seconds. The rest and workout timing could be change to your requirement, the recommended range being 8 seconds of intense work with 12 seconds of low intensity work. Repeat until 20 minutes are over.
This would wipe you out. You do not need expensive equipment to perform HIIT cardio workout at home. All you need is a mirror, a jump rope or nothing, even your bodyweight will do.
A mirror? What cardio can you perform with a mirror?
SHADOW BOXING – Pretend to box against an opponent, your mirror. Punch & jab at the mirror (Don’t really hit it) for 20 minutes using HIIT protocol. You will wonder why you wasted life on a treadmill or a stationary bike.
Same goes with jump rope. The high intense portion will be where you skip as fast as you can and during the low intense pace, you skip at a slow relaxed pace.
HIIT still has its place in most fitness circles, but there are many more new variations to cardio that have come into play.
2. Tabata Protocol
“Tabata” comes from Dr. Izumi Tabata, a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya. Tabata developed an extreme form of HIIT, which on its own is an extreme beast of its own.
Dr. Tabata was able to prove that 4 minutes is all you need to get an intense cardio session.
This was a ground breaking discovery. Cardio just went short all the way from 60 minutes down to 20 minutes, and Dr. Tabata brought it to a shocking 4 minutes!
Importantly, what you have to understand is that 4 minutes of Tabata has to be done in a maximal and intense fashion.
It follows a 20 second workout, with 10 second break protocol for 8 rounds.
These 20 seconds should be the hardest you have ever performed of a chosen exercise.
I would recommend to select one or two from the below list of exercises to perform in a Tabata fashion:
- Squat Jumps
- Running in Place
- Squat Thrusts
- T Pushups
- Box Jumps
- Lunge Jumps
I hope you get the picture on what type of exercises I suggest you use in a Tabata workout. These workouts can be done very easily at home. A small space the size of an elevator should be enough to complete these alternative cardio workouts.
3. MRT – Metabolic Resistance Training
This is the latest trend that has caught on into most fitness circles. It comprises of multiple exercises in a fast paced structure that is limited by reps or time.
As an example, you could do all of the exercises listed above for 20 to 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds break. Repeat the circuit 2 more times.
You just got a metabolic circuit workout done. It looks simple on paper but in the real implementation.
It doesn’t matter which approach you take to lose weight. Slow boring cardio has worked for thousands, maybe millions of people before HIIT was introduced. Same justification goes for any of the protocols mentioned above. They all work and they all have proven successful. It doesn’t matter if you get your cardio workout done at home, the gym, the grounds or wherever.
It only proves successful if you make a plan and stick with it long enough to experience the results.
I personally mix up with HIIT, Tabatas and MRT circuits to get my cardio workout at home. It’s been more than 10 years since I stepped into a gym and I’ve never been more stronger and leaner.
Cheers and stay tuned for my next post!
#UPDATE – I just found an epic video on how cardio should and should NOT be done! Totally agree with this guy.