Sharing some of my favorite gym-free cardio options, many of which you can do at home. You don’t have to go to the gym to get an awesome cardio workout.
Hi friends. I hope that you’re having a wonderful day so far. My heart is heavy and hurting following the events in Afghanistan. Please check on your veteran and Afghan friends, and I can’t stop praying for our Gold Star families, who have already lost so much.
Today’s post is a fitness-y post that I had ready to go for this week. I still wanted to post it today since I know many of my friends out there are still working out from home, and cardio can be a tricky aspect to navigate. I’m sharing 10 of my favorite gym-free cardio options – please shout out your faves in the comments.
10 of my favorite gym-free cardio options
I’m still obsessed with my Peloton bike after all of these years. It’s been such a convenient at-home workout option and is something I use at least once a week, whether I want to do an easy recovery ride or push myself. They’re pricey, but another option is to find a spin bike of any brand on Facebook Marketplace or online, and prop up an iPad with the Peloton app running. It’s an awesome substitute and something I did for around a year to make sure I liked the classes before I splurged for the bike.
2. Jump rope
Jump ropes are such an underrated form of cardio. They’re inexpensive, they’re portable, and get your heart rate up quickly. I like to do 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 10-15 minutes.
Kickboxing was my introduction to the fitness world (Tae Bo videos with my mom in 5th grade whaaattt) and I’ve loved it since then. I did and loved all of the Chalene Johnson Turbofire videos and my current fave kickboxing workout is BODYCOMBAT. (I still haven’t explored the YouTube land of Kickboxing videos but I’m sure there are some great ones.) It’s a pretty high-impact workout but there are lots of modification options along the way.
4. Amanda Kloots or Fitness Marshall dance cardio workouts
Sometimes you want to feel like you’re having a party and not really working out, and this moment calls for dance cardio. I have a couple of Amanda Kloots’ videos – started doing them last time we lived in Valdosta and loved them – and also did her subscription for a while. Fitness Marshall has a ton of dance cardio videos on his YouTube channel. They’re free and choreographed to current songs.
5. Neighborhood sprints, walks, hikes, or jogs
It’s still a bit hot here for these, but if the weather is nicer where you are, neighborhood sprints are a great cardio option. Sprint for 30 seconds, walk for 30, and repeat 10-20 times. (Be sure to warm up and cool down before and after.) This is the perfect free fitness option – find a safe outdoor spot that you can walk or run freely.
6. Bodyweight HIIT drills and plyometrics
Some of my go-to plyometric exercises and moves that get my heart rate up:
– Jump squats
– High knees
– Jumping lunges
– Box jumps
– Kettlebell swings
– Alternating snatches
– Mountain climbers
– Side to side hops
– Rotating squat jumps
– Sprints (I just sprint around the garage like a goofer for 30 seconds)
When I’m feeling uninspired or don’t want to motivate myself, I love BODYATTACK and GRIT. These are explosive, powerful, and sweaty workouts; plus they provide modifications along the way. My link is still good for 30 days free if you haven’t tried it yet!
7. Step aerobics
This is another fitness throwback but I forking love a good step class. I’ll never forget the classes I took at the base gym in Fayetteville; we used two steps, the music was LOUD, and the energy was out of control. I keep crossing my fingers it will make a comeback, but in the meantime, you can absolutely find challenging and fun step workouts on YouTube.
8. Rowing machine
I realllyyyyyyy want a rowing machine and if you’re considering a piece of at-home cardio equipment and love to row, this may be an solid choice. I like that rowing gives cardiovascular and endurance benefits while also strengthening the muscles in your arms, core, and back. (Many traditional cardio workouts focus on legs.) They’re perfect for longer endurance-style work, interval training, or cardio blitzes in between weight sets. The water rowers, like this one, are my faves.
This is kind of an obvious one, but needed to be included because so many people use and love having a treadmill in their home gym. You can walk or run, do intervals, or follow a class or app program. The Peloton treadmill workouts are fantastic. In my dream home gym, we would have a Skillmill.
BE CAREFUL if you do this one, mmm k? You can briskly walk up the stairs in your house and down again. I never would have considered this one before, but desperate times call for desperate measures when you can’t leave the house and it’s 110* outside. I’d pop in a podcast and get in a little bit of stair walking if I needed a movement break.
So, tell me, friends: what’s your favorite at-home cardio option?
What do you typically do for cardio?