You can keep your 4-minute bodyweight cardio blast interesting and challenging to keep seeing results from your efforts. Thus, maintaining them interesting and challenging is important.
These four non-traditional exercises will change your outlook on challenging your cardio. No equipment is needed, so this workout can easily be done from home, and circuit workouts are the perfect way to amp up your cardio. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds with a 30-second break in between. Start by doing one complete circuit of the exercises, then progress to doing 2 – 3 circuits as your bodyweight cardio blast. Get your timers ready.
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Bodyweight Cardio Blast 1. Bodyweight Squats
The squat is a great exercise to build and strengthen your lower body muscles. It is also one of the best exercises to build and form your glutes. You’ll also be surprised by how much this exercise can get your heart pumping.
Start by standing upright with your feet width apart, maintaining a proper posture with your head aligned over your shoulders, hips, and ankles. Contract your core as you bend your knees and shift your hips back, keeping your upper body as neutral as possible. Avoid sticking your knees past your toes as you lower your seat into a squat position. Slowly return to an upright standing position. Set your timer and repeat as many repetitions as possible within 30 seconds.
Bodyweight Cardio Blast 2. Forearm Plank
The plank is an exercise that targets your entire body. Planks can increase your metabolism, burn calories, and tone muscles when performed correctly while helping prevent future injuries and strengthening your vital core muscles.
Try to maintain strong alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs using the tensegrity theory. Start in a 4-point position with your hands below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Step back with both feet, then lower to both arms to move into a forearm plank position. Try to have all body parts put in the same amount of work and force to maintain control and strength in this position. Set your timer and hold this position for 30 seconds or as long as possible. Make sure to breathe deeply throughout the bodyweight cardio blast exercise.
Bodyweight Cardio Blast 3. Total Body Extensions
Full-body extensions are a great way to improve your range of motion and increase your core temperature and heart rate. The explosive movement of this exercise will strengthen and tone the entire body and engage the nervous system, making them a great warm-up for workouts, sports, and recreational activities. Full-body extensions are also the perfect non-impact replacement for jumping exercises, putting far less strain on your joints.
Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and hinge from your hips to dip down quickly, lowering your seat into a semi-squat. Extend your body out front and swing your arms down behind you. Explode back onto your toes as you extend through the entire body, raising your arms overhead and slightly arching your back. Control the descent back down in one fluid motion and repeat the movement. Set your timer and do as many total body extensions as possible in 30 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe throughout the exercise.
Total Body Extensions
Bodyweight Cardio Blast 4. Power Punches
This exercise greatly increases your aerobic fitness, core stability, coordination, power, and endurance.
Start in an upright standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a step forward with whichever foot feels most comfortable to stagger your stance. Squeeze your hands into fists and hold them at chest height. Keeping your feet planted, extend one arm forward into a punch. Retract your arm to the starting position and repeat the movement with your opposite arm. Set your timer and continue in a rapid punching motion for 30 seconds. Remember to keep breathing.
This circuit is a great way to warm up before your workout or sports, as it engages all your joints and muscles. When starting a new routine, start slow and listen to your body. Gradually let your body work up to more repetitions within the 30-second intervals. Work hard to ensure your heart rate is elevated during those thirty-second periods for optimal results.
Another option is gradually increasing your interval time from 30 seconds to 45 seconds to a full minute.