What is a good indoor cardio workout? Our 5 Top Picks

When you are looking to either lose weight or stay in shape, one of the best workouts you can do is cardio. It is relatively common to hear people say that they hate cardio, which is understandable because cardio can be pretty exhausting. However, there are plenty of benefits to doing cardio workouts. They increase your overall energy and can even help you perform better during other exercises. With that said, what are some excellent indoor cardio workouts?

© Photo by Anastasia Hisel on Unsplash

Whether you are going to your local gym or looking to work out at home, there are plenty of cardio workouts you can do. Here are our top 5 picks for indoor cardio workouts.

  • Burpees
  • Jump Squats
  • Jump Rope
  • Climbing Stairs
  • Rowing Machines

Our shortlist consists of workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home and some that can be done at your local gym. Each of these cardio workouts will help you lose weight and help you stay in shape.

As you continue to read this article, we will be discussing what cardio is and what it does to keep your body healthy. After that, we will then go into each of our top 5 indoor cardio workouts and explain how to execute each exercise and its benefits adequately.

What Is Cardio?

Cardio exercise, often known as aerobic exercise, is any rhythmic activity that causes your heart rate to rise into your goal heart rate zone. This is the zone in which the most fat and calories are burned. Walking, cycling, and swimming are just a few of the most frequent forms of cardio. Household tasks such as vacuuming and mopping, on the other hand, maybe considered cardiac exercise.

Cardio differs from other forms of exercise. It relies on your body’s capacity to utilize oxygen during the activity. A person’s cardiac ability or capacity might vary depending on a variety of circumstances.

According to the American Heart Association research, genetics have a 20% to 40% effect on what you can achieve with cardio. Furthermore, women have a 25% lower cardiac capacity than males, and this capacity declines with aging in both sexes.

This does not suggest that you can’t improve your cardiovascular health because of your genes, gender, or age. However, it is crucial to understand that several elements might impact how your body responds to aerobic activity.

What Are The Benefits Of Cardio Workouts?

Few activities can provide all of the physical and mental health advantages that aerobic exercise can quickly. Cardio has several well-known advantages, including: 

  • Burns Fat and Calories
  • It helps you sleep better at night
  • Lowers the amount of stress you might have
  • Promotes better moods
  • It can help fight depression and anxiety
  • Reduces the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases
  • It strengthens your heart, so it does not have to work as hard to pump blood to the rest of your body
© Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How Long Should My Cardio Workouts Last?

Health experts recommend that most individuals receive at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week. The beauty of cardio is that you don’t have to work out for an hour to reap the advantages. Simply running to the shop for 10 minutes counts toward the 150 minutes per week requirement, and your body will get some of the benefits.

If you are a beginner at cardio workouts, start with 10 or 15 minutes of cardio. Then, as you keep working out every day, add 5 minutes to your cardio routine. Work your way up until you have a 30 to 60 minutes cardio workout routine. Eventually, you will find yourself blowing past the 150 minutes of cardio per week. Every minute you add to that 150-minute minimum, the stronger the benefits will be.

How Often Should I Do Cardio Workouts?

When it comes to how often you should be doing cardio workouts depends on a few things. Mainly, your fitness level, goals, and free time will affect how often you should do cardio.

There are just a few things you can do for a living. If you’re new to exercise, want to be healthy, don’t have a lot of free time, and aren’t concerned about losing weight, a small amount of activity every day can help. If you’ve been exercising consistently for years and are used to going to the gym for 60 minutes at a time, cardio 3 to 4 times per week should be enough. If you are more focused on building muscle than burning fat, 3 to 4 cardio sessions are also suitable for you.

When considering frequency, it’s also necessary to think about intensity. You can undertake everyday, light or moderate-intensity aerobic workouts. However, if you undertake high-intensity training, you will require additional recovery days in between exercises. Combining the two allows you to work with diverse energy systems while also preventing burnout.

Our Top 5 Picks For Indoor Cardio Workouts

Now that you have been informed on cardio and how it helps your body stay healthy, let’s get into some different workouts.

  1. Burpees
© Tips for Women

The burpee is one of the most legendary and well-known calorie-burning cardio workouts in all of fitness. Burpees will dramatically increase your heart rate, and they work out your whole body. During the burpee, you will be pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting, and finishing off the entire thing with an explosive jump.

  • When you want to do burpees, start in a standing position, squat down, and place your hands flat on the ground. 
  • Then jump your feet back into the push-up position. Remember to keep your feet far apart. 
  • Do a full push-up once you are in this position, except make sure your chest touches the ground.
  • After you finish the push-up, leap your feet forward, keeping them far apart to avoid hitting or stepping on your hands.
  • Finally, you will need to jump from the squatting position straight up as high as you can. 

You can further enhance your burpee exercise by adding small additions to it. For instance, you can do the tuck jump burpee, lateral jump burpee, and jump lung burpee. Each of these burpees follows the same burpee steps above. However, the variations come during the jumps.

When doing tuck jump burpees, pull your knees as close to your chest as possible before extending them and landing on your feet during your high jump.

When doing lateral jump burpees, you will be jumping to the left or to the right instead of jumping high into the air. Once you get to the next jump, you will jump back into your original position.

Finally, when doing jump lunge burpees, you go into lunges instead of doing a high jump off of the ground. Instead, you will do a small jump and place one foot far out in front of you and one behind. Then crouch while leaning forward until the knee on the leg behind you touches the floor and your front leg forms a 90-degree angle.

  1. Squat Jumps
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The jump squat is an exercise much like the burpee. The explosive jump at the end uses a large amount of muscle mass to propel yourself upwards, burning tons of calories during the process. 

  • Start in the standard squatting position with your feet spread wide apart, just past your shoulders.
  • Push your hips back and put your total weight on your heels as you squat down until your hips are just above your knees.
  • After you have squatted down, drop your arms, pull them behind your hips.
  • Fling your arms straight into the air and use their momentum while thrust with your legs to jump from this squatting position as high as you can.

Also, like burpees, you can add variations to this workout. For instance, you can perform lunges after your jump.

  1. Jump Rope
© Well+Good on Youtube

The jump rope is one of the most underutilized workout equipment today. Besides the cardiovascular benefits that you will gain from this workout, it will also help you with timing and coordination. Jump ropes are lightweight, inexpensive, and can travel with you quickly. If you are new to jump rope, it is relatively easy to learn.

  • First, set your jump rope to the side and start jumping in short hops while rotating your hands as if they were holding the rope. This helps build a rhythm. The main goal is to jump when your hands are pointing down and be on the ground when your hands are pointing up.
  • Once you feel confident, grab the rope and put it in one hand, swinging it to the side of you. Remember to jump when your hand is facing down. However, this time you will also be listening for the rope hitting the ground. If you are jumping at the same time you hear that sound, you are on track.
  • After you have perfected your timing, place the rope in each hand and start jumping rope.

Like the other cardio workouts, you can also add variations to jumping rope to increase its effectiveness. For instance, you can do jumping jacks, butt kicks, or even high knee raises.

  1. Climbing Stairs
© Runner’s World

Using a staircase or a stair climber at a gym is a great way to build cardio and strengthen your body. Walking and jogging up and downstairs is a fantastic cardio workout that will shred calories and build leg muscles.

If you are working out at home, all you need to do is run or walk up the stairs as fast as possible. Once you are at the top, walk down the stairs at a slower pace to recover. Repeat this for 10 minutes or more for a complete workout.

If you are using a stair climber at the gym, you can have a more intense workout. Being able to run or walk upstairs constantly will strengthen your legs much more than using stationary stairs.

  1. Rowing Machines
© EVO Fitness

When you are at the gym or have a rowing machine at home, they are one of the best cardio workouts in the game. You are working out over 85% of your body in one fluid motion, building muscle and cardio strength.

The main thing to remember about rowing is you will need the proper technique. While this technique is relatively simple to learn, it will take some time to master. 

  • The Starting Position, or The Catch: You will be seated on the device with your feet on the footpads when you are in the beginning position. Maintain a 90-degree angle or perpendicular to the floor with your knees straight.

Next, while gripping the bar in this posture, maintain your arms straight out in front of you. Finally, keep your back as straight as possible. Back discomfort and tension can be caused by arching your back during this activity.

Maintaining your back straight is an integral part of this workout. Lean forward with your back straight until your shoulders are just past your hips.

  • The Drive: This step is where you will be getting all of your cardio exercises. To begin the drive, use your core muscles to assist in maintaining your body straight. At the same time, you push on the footpads with your legs, propelling you out towards the machine’s ends.

When you approach the end of the rail, maintain your abs engaged and tensed to keep your body as straight as possible while you lean back in your seat and bring the bar with your arms towards your chest.

When you finish the drive, your legs should be straight, your hands on the bar should be touching the top of your abdomen, and your back should be straight, with a 45-degree lean.

  • The Recovery: The recuperation is simply a short break before returning to your starting position. To do this, you must adequately reverse the driving procedure until you return to the stated starting location.

Start by extending your arms straight out in front of you. Then proceed to lean forward until your shoulders are just past your hips. Finally, raise your knees until you return to the starting position.

Final Thoughts

Cardio workouts are essential for everyone’s health. They keep you healthy in several different ways. With that said, there are plenty of cardio workouts that we did not put on this list. Our top 5 cardio workouts are personal opinions but can help you as a launching platform to find your personal top 5.

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