Get creative with your cardio workouts. Exercises benefiting your cardiovascular system do not have to be limited to running and cardio machines. Try to add a total body workout to your exercise plan. Total body workouts not only increase your heart rate, but also improve your overall strength and power.
Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds and move quickly between stations. Do the complete circuit two to four times, with a two to three minute break between each set.
Mountain climber: works glutes, hamstring & core
Begin in a pushup position (arms straight). Lift your right knee straight up toward your right arm and bring it back down. Repeat with your left knee, bringing it to your left arm. Keep your hips as low as possible during each rep and brace your core to maintain balance. Try to get into a fast-paced rhythm.
Burpees: works upper/lower body, core & hips
Begin in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back to a pushup position and then immediately return your feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position. Bend your knees slightly when landing. Repeat, moving as fast as possible.
Plank: works abdominals
To make a typical plank more challenging, hold your body straight, supported by your toes and hands, placed widely on a medicine ball. Brace your abdominals and maintain a straight body line through your feet, hips and head.
Side Plank: works obliques & spine
Start by lying sideways on a mat with your legs straight out. Hold your body up with one arm (straight or bent) parallel to the floor. Sustain a straight alignment for the full length of your body. Keep your abs tight.
To make this exercise more challenging, slowly lower your hips so they are almost touching the ground and lift them up slowly while sustaining your body alignment.
Squat press: works quads, glutes & shoulders
Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keep your abs pulled in and your shoulders back. Hold light to medium weights just over your shoulders, with your palms facing your body.
Squat down, keeping your abs in and your knees behind your toes. Do not let your knees collapse inward. As you stand back up, push into your heels and squeeze your glutes while pressing the weights overhead and turning your wrists so your palms face forward. Pause, then lower.