4 Minute Bodyweight Cardio Blast

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These four non-traditional exercises will change your outlook on challenging your cardio. There is no equipment 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 cardio improves. Get your timers ready.

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 in an upright position with your feet shoulder 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 down into a squat position. Slowly return to an upright standing position. Set your timer and repeat as many repetitions as you can within 30 seconds.

Bodyweight Squat

Bodyweight Squats

2. Forearm Plank

The plank is an exercise that targets your entire body. When performed correctly, planks can increase your metabolism, burn calories and tone muscles while helping prevent future injuries strengthening your vital core muscles.

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 maintain strong alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs by using the theory of tensegrity. 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 exercise.


Forearm Plank

3. Total Body Extensions

Total body extensions are a great way to improve your range of motion as well as 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 an amazing warm up for workouts, sports, and recreational activities. Total 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 back into a semi-squat. Extend your body out front and swing your arms down behind you. Explode back up onto your toes as you extend through the entire body, raising your arms overhead and slightly arching your back. In one fluid motion, control the descent back down and repeating the movement. Set your timer and do as many total body extensions as you can in 30 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe throughout the exercise.

Total Body Extension

Total Body Extensions

4. Power Punches

This exercise is a great way to increase 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 back 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.

Power Punch

Power Punches

This circuit is a great way to warm up before your workout or before sports as it engages all of your joints and muscles. Work hard to ensure your heart rate is elevated during those thirty-second periods for optimal results. 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.

Another option is to gradually increase your interval time from 30 seconds to 45 seconds, to a full minute.

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