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What Is a Good Cardio Workout at Home?
A good cardio workout consists of exercises that boost your heart rate. And a strong cardio-vascular system houses more capillaries providing more oxygen to muscle cells. This enables the cells in the muscles to burn more fat both during periods of exercise and inactivity.
30 Minute HIIT Cardio Workout Without Any Equipment
This 30 minute workout at home is perfect for beginners who do not have any special equipment at home and a lot of time on their hands. The following at home cardio workout plan has been crafted especially for starters. It comprises 15 steps of basic exercises, rest period, and repetitions to create the perfect winning workout recipe:
Total Time: The total time required for this cardio workout at home for beginners is 30 mins; 40 secs intro, 5 mins warm-up and 5 mins stretch. You do not need any equipment except an exercise mat.
Step 1: Spot Sprint
Spot sprints are a great addition to any cardio workout session. They are perfect for getting your arms pumping while staying light on the feet. You can customise spot sprints based on the space, intensity, fitness level, and time, you have, for exercising.
Benefits of Sprinting on Spot:
Running in place improves blood sugar levels, increases heart rate, burns fat and calories. All these benefits help you lose weight. Plus, this exercise also enhances lung capacity, improve circulation, and boost cardiovascular function.
Sprint on Spot Muscles Worked:
Sprinting in place works the hamstrings, gluteals, quadriceps on a primary level, and the biceps, soleus, deltoids, and gastrocnemius secondarily.
Step 2: Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a physical jumping exercise that involves jumping with your legs spread wide and your hands going up or in a clapping position, and then going back to your feet together and arms by your sides.
Benefits of Jumping Jacks:
Jumping jacks not only work major muscle groups, but they also improve heart health, boost cardiovascular fitness, and strengthen bones. But you have to perform jumping jacks correctly to reap these benefits
Jumping Jacks Muscles Worked:
This exercise targets the quadriceps, hip flexors, and the glutes. It also works the shoulder and abdominal muscles.
Step 3: Side Lunges
Side lunges act as a dynamic warm-up in a cardio workout which does not require any equipment. Being a functional movement, sides lunges help in everyday movements, including strengthening muscles required to move and change direction.
Benefits of Side Lunges:
Side lunges increase flexibility while strengthening the thigh muscles. You can try a walking lunge to increase your heart rate. Or you can incorporate a torso twist in side lunges to work the abdominal muscles.
Side Lunge Muscles Worked:
Apart from working the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, a side lunge (or lateral lunge) also targets the inner thigh muscles.
Step 4: Repeat Step 1 to 3
Repetition is a key learning aid in this 30 minute workout for beginners to transition, the exercises, from the conscious to the subconscious. Repeating the exercises will gradually make them easier for beginners.
Step 5: 20-Second Rest
It is vital to take some rest after a set to increase your muscles’ endurance. In order to do so, as quickly as possible, take a quick 20 seconds rest before moving to the next exercises.
Step 6: Climber Push Up
Climber push-ups (4:1) involve 4 mountains climbers and 1 push up. The mountain climbers get your core fired up and make your abs ready to work. The push-up, on the other hand, makes your shoulders and chest ready to work.
Benefits of Mountain Climber Push-Ups:
The mountain-climber part of the exercise builds the lower body strength, boosts heart rate, and improves agility. While the push-up part increases functional strength and whole-body muscle definition.
Climber Push Up Muscles Worked:
This exercise works the chest muscles, abs, triceps along with hamstrings and shoulder muscles.
Step 7: Frog Hops
Continue to step 7 of this 30 minute cardio workout at home no equipment with frog hops. Frog hops involve jumping like a frog and exerting maximum pressure on the lower body. They’re perfect for gaining muscles mass and getting firm, and powerful muscles. Being a plyometric exercise, it delivers an after-burn effect, thus, burning more calories in the next 24-48 hrs.
Benefits of Frog Hops:
Frog hops offer numerous benefits for the body. They condition the ankles, hips, knees, and wrists, especially the ligaments and tendons within the joints. Plus, they open the ankles and the hips, and also strengthen the lower back and legs.
Frog Hops Muscles Worked:
This plyometrics and callisthenics exercise primarily works the quads and also targets the glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, outer thighs, and groin to a lesser degree.
Step 8: High Knees + Butt Kicks
Combine high knees and butt kicks by alternating 4 repetitions of each exercise. Plus, these two combinations act as the perfect warm-up drills to improve your running form before you begin your cardio regimen.
Benefits of High Knees and Butt Kicks:
High knees combine knee lifts with running motion. They improve running forms, flexibility, balance, speed, and boost the heart rate. Butt kicks benefit the body by strengthening the hamstrings to increase speed and acceleration.
High Knees and Butt Kicks Muscles Worked:
High knees target the quadriceps, core, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and the calves. The butt kicks, on the other side, work the hamstring muscles and glutes.
Step 9: Repeat Step 6 to 8
Repeat the said steps to get the most out of your workout and increase your efficiency.
Step 10: 20-Second Rest
Give your body 20 seconds to rest before you resume working out.
Step 11: Lunge + Burpee
Perform this step of your cardio workout at home for weight loss by performing 4 alternating jump lunges and incorporating 1 full burpee in them
Benefits of Jumping Lunges and Burpees:
Jump lunges improve and develop lower body strength and challenge coordination and dynamic stability. And burpees improve cardio fitness and burn fat while offering you a full-body workout.
Jump Lunges + Burpees Muscles Worked:
Jump lunges target the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and the calves. And the burpee exercise works the legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, abdomen, hips, and chest muscles.
Step 12: Climber Jacks + Plank Jack
Combine two amazing exercises when doing this workout to target maximum muscles of your body. To perform this step, do climber jacks involving 4 cross mountain climbers and incorporating a plank jack in as well.
Benefits of Climber Jacks + Plank Jack:
The cross mountain climbers benefit the body by strengthening the core and letting you dynamically work the core. In addition, the plank jack benefits the body by strengthening the muscles of the upper and lower body, and burning calories.
Climber Jacks + Plank Jack Muscles Worked:
The 4 cross mountain climbers will target your triceps, shoulders, glutes, and legs, while the plank jack will work the chest, shoulders, back, abdominal, arm muscles, stabilisers, and lower back.
Step 13: Lateral Speed Skaters
Lateral speed stakers are a part of lower body plyometrics exercises which offer the perfect mix of strength and at-home cardio in one exercise. They add power and agility to your workout. All you have to do is focus on sticking the landing.
Lateral Speed Skaters Benefits:
Lateral speed skaters boost the heart rate, improve stability, and balance while strengthening the legs.
What Muscles Does Speed Skater Work?
This exercise challenges the quadriceps, core, gluteus minimus, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, hip flexors, and gluteus medius.
Step 14: Repeat Step 11-13
Repeat step 11 to 13, as you move closer to ending your 30 minute cardio workout at home, for maximum benefits.
Step 15: 20-Second Rest
End your workout with a 20-second rest as the last step.
Can You Lose Weight With 30 Minutes of Cardio a Day?
Doing 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio workout five times a week is sufficient for meeting the recommendation for maintenance of good health set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you follow a healthy, nutrient-rich diet plan with a sufficient amount of calories, then you can lose weight by doing 30 minutes of cardio every day.
Interesting Read: 12 Fat Burning Exercises to Lose Weight at Home
Can a 30 Minute Workout Be Effective?
A 30-minute workout is effective if your goal is just to lead an active and healthy life. But if your goal consists of increasing your endurance, losing weight or gaining muscle mass, then you should think of hitting the 60-minute mark.
How Many Calories Does 30 Minutes Cardio Burn?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that a 154-pound person can burn around 140 and 295 calories by doing 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. While according to other researches, if you weigh about 73 kg (160 pounds) you may burn 300 calories by doing 30 minutes of HIIT or cardio workout.
The Final Takeaway
If you want to try a HIIT cardio workout, consider this regimen your invitation. This routine will get your metabolism going and blood pumping in no time. Test your endurance, strength, and balance in just 30 minutes. And the best part? You will get the best results without pushing your body way out of its comfort zone.
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