Woman lays on yoga mat and exercises

The Ultimate Cardio Circuit to Get Your Heart Pumping

Experts recommend getting 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity per week. And you don’t have to be a fan of running or a member of a gym to meet your minimums. A cardio circuit you can do anywhere might be just what you need! It’s a combination of several fast-paced workouts that focus on different parts of the body, equaling a total workout that doesn’t require an extensive amount of time. Try out this circuit for a great way to work your heart.

Getting Ready

Set the number of times you plan to go through the circuit. Two rounds is an excellent starting point for beginners, and you should increase the amount over time as your body builds up more endurance. Try not to take any breaks between the exercises because you want to keep your heart rate up for a more effective workout. Be sure to warm up your muscles before with a light walk or a few gentle stretches so you can avoid straining a muscle.

1. Burpees

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat and place your palms flat on the ground. Jump back with your legs so that your body forms a plank and your back is straight. Then, push off from your feet, leap forward into the squatting position, and then jump upwards, lifting your hands in the air and straightening out your body. Immediately lower back into the squat. Repeat for 15 reps.

2. Jumping Jacks

Set a timer, and do jumping jacks for one minute. To perform a jumping jack, stand up straight with your arms by your side and your legs together. Jump, spreading your legs shoulder-width apart and bringing your arms above your head, making an “X” with your body. Jump back to the standing position, and repeat.

3. Mountain Climbers

Begin with the same plank form that begins a push-up, with your toes on the ground and your back straight. Bend your right knee, bring it close to your chest, and return your foot to its starting position. Do the same with your left knee. Keep alternating legs until you’ve reached 10 reps per leg for a total of 20 reps.

4. Bicycle Crunches

Flip onto your back and get into position as if you’re about to do a crunch, with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and hands behind your head. Lift your head and feet off the ground and pull your right knee toward your chest while extending the left leg straight, parallel to the floor. Twist your torso slightly to try bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Then, pull your left knee toward your chest, extend your right leg straight, and twist to try touching your right elbow to your left knee. Continue alternating until you complete 10 reps per leg for a total of 20 reps.

5. Take a Break

You deserve it! Take a quick one-minute break to catch your breath, take a sip of water, or queue up a new song. Then repeat!

Before making any changes to your existing fitness routine, speak with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to make sure your body is up to the task. If you have an existing heart condition, schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group cardiologist.

 

Sources:
Shape | How to Build the Perfect Circuit Training Workout
Active | 7-Minute Cardio Circuit That Transforms Your Body
Self | How To Do Mountain Climbers The Right Way
Healthline | Benefits of Jumping Jacks and How to Do Them
Fitness | How to Do a Burpee (the Right Way)