Take it Outside!
Cardio intervals are important for heart health and promoting longevity! They not only burn calories and boost your metabolism, but improve the health of your blood vessels and your heart.
Stability is important for strength and power. We use strength and power daily when we do simple activities like getting out of our chairs or lifting our groceries.
Set your timer for 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest and do 2-4 rounds
1. Mountain Climbers. Support your weight on your hands and toes, keeping your abs and glutes tight. Drive one knee to the same side elbow and return it to the start position without touching the toes to the ground. Repeat with the other leg and keep switching sides for 30 seconds. Go as quickly as you can.
2. Jump rope. Some people have a hard time jump roping. No problem. Just use an imaginary rope. It is still cardio! 🙂
3. Plank shoulder taps. This is more stability than cardio. Support your weight on your hands and toes again. This time, instead of moving your feet, you lift one hand off and tap the opposite shoulder. Return your hand to the start position and repeat on the other side. Keep switching sides for the whole 30 seconds. The trick is to keep your hips still when you lift the arm off. If you put your feet wider apart, you will have more stability and it will be easier to keep your hips still.
4. Pulsing squats. Start with your feet a comfortable distance apart. Keeping your chest lifted, abs in, and shoulder blades down toward your back pockets (not up by your ears 😉 )lower yourself down and pulse up and down in a small range of motion to work your quads and your glutes. Keep driving your knees wide so you put the work in the hips and not the knees.
5. Bicycle crunches (My favorite) Lying on your back, supporting your neck, and tightening your abs so your hips stay stuck in one place as you move your arms and legs. Drive one knee toward the opposite side elbow and then switch, repeating for 30 seconds. Only go as fast as you can while keeping your hips still. If your hips start rocking forward and back or side to side, you are stressing your back and not optimizing the work of the abs. Slow and controlled is the key for this exercise specifically!
6. Squat jacks. Finishing off with a cardio interval! To perform a squat jack, start standing up straight with your hands over your head. Jump your feet out wide and pull your arms down to your side. Return to the start position. The kids call this one, “pencil/house” Make your body straight like a pencil and then wide like a house. If you do not want to jump your feet out, simply take a wide side step and sink into your squat.
As you get stronger, you can add more work time and/ or decrease your rest time. If you like to work outside, share your favorite exercises in the comments below!