Are you one of those people who goes to the gym just to do some cardio? Doesn’t it get boring doing the same old thing on the treadmill, or stationery bike? If you enjoy it, that’s perfectly fine, but I know sometimes it can become quite boring and monotonous. If you feel the same way about it why not change things up and incorporate more fun and exciting forms of ‘cardio’ into your training?
Cardio does not have to only be limited to the orbitrec or the spinning bike.
Here are a few things you can try out instead of the usual cardio machines:
Granted most commercial gyms don’t have tyres lying around, but there are places (parks and private gyms) outdoors that do, so if you manage to find any take full advantage of them. Flipping tyres incorporates your whole body and combines cardiovascular training with strength training, so you get the best of both!
Pick a tyre that you can manage, then flip it for a distance, say 10 to 15 metres. Rest and repeat 5 or 6 times. From there you can start to build it up. Be sure to do it with correct form. Think of it as front squatting into a shoulder press.
Sled Pushing or pulling
Sled pushing is quite an effective leg exercise as well as a great cardiovascular exercise. If you do not have a sled, try get creative, you can use almost anything. In most gyms they have ‘boxes’ that are used for box jumps and such. Grab one of those in the studio and get pushing! Something to note is that some of these exercises may be a bit intense, so just be cautious if you have any injuries or joint pains. If you have slight knee pain for instance you may want to think about getting a knee brace, check this out for more info on what to look for.
What better way to take out all your stress as well as get in a great full body workout, than to hit a bag! Well it’s not that simple. Get some gloves and start punching the bag. If you have never done any fight training before don’t worry. Start off by doing non stop punching on the bag for a few seconds and build it up.
If you want to work on your form and get that right, try attend one of those ‘kick’ classes you see in the gym studios, they’re great to help you with the right form for kicking and jabbing.
Skipping is a great exercise for cardio as well as for coordination and control, and It builds stamina and endurance. If you think it may be too difficult, all you have to do is try. Give it a go for an hour or even half an hour or so a day and in no time you will get it.
It’s all about practice and that’s it!
Swimming is such a great form of cardio that many people overlook, probably due to the simple fact that you need a swimming cap (in most gyms). It is much easier on your joints than other forms and it really works the whole body.
If you cannot swim, don’t sweat. Grab your towel and costume and do some running laps in the pool. Just stand and run as normal, only in the pool.
It may seem easy at first but after the first length the resistance will start to kick in. Keep your hands above the water to make it easier.
The beauty of bodyweight circuits is that you can put a whole lot of cool exercises together and are able to work a wide variety of muscles at the same time. You can even include some of the above suggestions, like skipping, sled pulling or even tyre flips into the circuit.
A few bodyweight exercises that you can use are:
Burpees, jumping lunges, jump squats, push ups, dips, the ropes etc.
If you love playing soccer or tennis or squash or any other sport, get moving and go play it! Do not confine yourself to the gym’s cardio machines because you think they are better for losing weight.
One of the best cardiovascular exercise of all time are probably outdoor sprints (or hill sprints if you feel full of energy!). Find a small quiet area anywhere between 25 and 45 metres depending on how you are feeling. Sprint all out one way and take a walk back. Rest a bit and repeat 5 – 8 times and always remember to warm up first.