17 Best Cardio Exercises To Do At Home To Burn Calories

The best exercises you can do to strengthen your cardiovascular health at home.

By Priyanka Sadhukhan, MSc (Nutrition), Certified Diabetes Educator

You no longer need to depend on an elliptical trainer or a treadmill to get your cardio routine going. Yes, you heard it right! You can now easily do cardio exercises at home without any equipment to burn calories and enhance your metabolism.

But first, why are cardio workouts important? They are crucial to enhance lung capacity and decrease diabetes and coronary artery disease risk (1). This article lists out the 17 best and easiest cardio exercises to do at home. Keep scrolling!

Stylecraze Trivia
Aerobic exercises, synonymous with cardio, also offer mental health benefits. They help regulate stress levels and lower depression and anxiety (1).

Best Cardio Workouts At Home

1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks cardio exercise

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The jumping jack is a classic cardiovascular or aerobic exercise that can help decrease body weight and fat.

It also tones your inner and outer thighs, quadriceps, laterals, and deltoids. Tuck in your tummy while doing these for toning your lower abs as well.

How To Do

  1. Stretch your arms and legs.
  2. Stand erect, keep your spine and head straight, arms resting beside your body, and feet together.
  3. Bending your knees slightly, jump in the air as high as you can.
  4. Spread out your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart as you jump.
  5. Stretch your hands simultaneously, in line with the shoulders.
  6. While coming down, make sure your feet rest on the floor and are shoulder-width apart, while your hands are stretched out above the head.
  7. Jump back to step 3 and repeat steps 4 to 6, without a break, until you complete one set.
  8. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each, to begin with, and increase the reps to 100 with time.

2. Box Jump

Box jumps cardio exercise

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Box jumps are lower body cardio exercises that can help tone up the thighs and buttocks. This functional training and cardio exercise can help improve your overall health and physical fitness.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight. Your back should be firm. You should be in an athletic position. Make sure the feet are slightly apart. Stand away from the box, but not too far.
  2. Get down into a quarter squat position very quickly. Swing your arms and push your feet off the ground and jump on to the box.
  3. Do not make the mistake of landing with a thud. The lighter the landing is, the better it is for you.
  4. Finish 5 sets of 3 reps and take rest for some time as continuous box jumping can strain the nerves.

3. Cross Jacks

This calorie crunching exercise is an ideal way to bust the fat accumulated in your thighs, biceps, triceps, and calf muscles. You can use it as an abs toner, provided you are able to hold your tummy in as you sway.

How To Do

  1. Stand erect. Keep your spine and head straight. Let your arms rest beside your body, and keep your feet together.
  2. Stretch your leg outward, hip-width apart. Jump as high as possible.
  3. Let your arms go above your head simultaneously, crossing at the wrists.
  4. As you come down, cross your feet at the ankles.
  5. At the same time, bring your arms down, crossing them in front of your hips.
  6. Try to inhale while jumping and exhale while crossing the feet.
  7. Slide into step 3 and repeat steps 3 to 6, without a break, until you complete one set.
  8. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each, increasing your reps to 100 with time.

4. Spot Jogs

You can do this cardio exercise at home at your convenience.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands by the sides of your body.
  2. Lift your knees as high as possible and jog in one spot.
  3. Make sure you spot jog continuously at least for 60 seconds.

5. Standing Oblique Crunch

This is one of the best cardio exercises for beginners and can be done at home without using any equipment.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your right hand behind your ear.
  2. Now, place your body weight on the left leg and lift your right leg out to the side. Make sure your knee is bent.
  3. Lower the elbow while bringing up the knee so that they both meet.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat the same with the left leg and elbow.
  5. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each, to begin with, increasing your reps to 50 with time.

6. Butt Kicks

Butt kicks are effective cardio plyometric exercises that can help improve body balance, agility, and hamstring strength.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands by your sides.
  2. Bring your right heel to your buttocks by contracting the hamstring.
  3. Place the ball of the right foot back on the ground and bring your left heel to the buttocks.
  4. Do this a few times. Once you are comfortable, accelerate your speed.
  5. Do 2 sets of 30 reps with an accelerated speed.

7. Skater Squat

This exercise helps to burn calories and is lower-body strengthening cardio. The glutes, calves, lower back, deltoids, and quads also get toned in the process.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight and keep your spine and head erect. Keep your feet together while allowing your arms to rest beside your body.
  2. Jump to your left while extending your left arm backward. Simultaneously, bring your right fist toward your chin.
  3. The left foot should be placed on the floor while the right leg is raised backward.
  4. Squat swiftly and instantly.
  5. Do the same with the other side.
  6. Continue the workout, changing sides swiftly and fluidly.
  7. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each, to begin with, increasing your reps to 100 with time.
StyleCraze Says
Skater squats are an excellent alternative to regular squats for individuals with knee-related issues as they take the pressure off the knees and focus on the hip instead.

8. Skipping/Jump Rope

Skipping jump rope exercise

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Skipping or jumping rope is an amazing way to burn calories and shed fat. In a study, scientists found that rope jumping to dance music helped improve BMI more than stationary cycle exercise (2).

According to a study, 10 minutes of rope jumping is equal to 30 minutes of jogging for improved cardiovascular efficiency.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight. Keep your spine and head erect, and hold the rope with the hands behind your body. Make sure that the hands are at least one foot away from your body, or there are chances of you tripping over.
  2. Swing the rope forward and hop over it, allowing it to move behind your body.
  3. Jump on your toes. Allow your wrists and hand to move along with the handles.
  4. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each, to begin with, increasing your reps to 100 with time.

9. Jump Lunges

Jump lunges cardio exercise

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This is another cardio workout at home that helps in toning the thighs. It also helps in improving the body coordination while keeping the lower body supple and toned.

How To Do

  1. Stand straight, keep your foot together, and hands resting beside your body. Keep your spine and head erect.
  2. Inhale and lunge forward with the right leg, bending the elbows, with the hands folded into fists. Bring your left hand in front of your chest, while the right one rests on the hip.
  3. Jump, quickly switching your arms and legs, allowing yourself to land in a lunge with the left foot.
  4. This makes one rep. Keep alternating the legs as you jump and lunge without breaking until you complete one set.
  5. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each, increasing your reps to 100 with time.

10. Burpees

Burpees exercise

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Burpees are excellent cardio exercises that involve the entire body.

How To Do

  1. Keep your feet together and assume a squat position. Place your arms on the ground in front of your feet.
  2. Keep your feet together and get ready to jump back so that you can land in a push-up position. Bend your forearms and perform a single push-up in this position.
  3. Jump back to the previous position and bring your feet beneath your body. Leap into the air.
  4. Land smoothly and bend your legs.
  5. Repeat these steps and practice as long as you can.
  6. Practice 2 sets of 20 reps as a beginner and aim to achieve 100 reps for the best results.

11. High Knee March

This is a simple yet effective form of cardio. It helps tone your butt, thighs, hips, and abs.

How To Do

  1. Stand on the floor, keeping your spine and head erect. Your feet should be together, while the hands rest beside your body.
  2. Lift your feet, one at a time, allowing your knees to come until your waist.
  3. Simultaneously, move the opposite hands – left hand with right knee and vice versa.
  4. Maintaining the pace, march continuously for 50 counts, which ideally takes 20 seconds.
  5. Do 3 such sets to reap the maximum benefits.

12. Kick Boxing

Kick boxing cardio exercise

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This aerobic exercise helps to burn calories and lower blood pressure.

How To Do

  1. A heavy boxing bag is required to enhance your cardio speed and improve movement and hand-eye coordination.
  2. Start by throwing a powerful punch to the bag with your elbow.
  3. Punch it with the other elbow.
  4. Grab the bag and extend your leg back. Kick the punching bag with your knee.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.
  6. Do it initially for 30 minutes, increasing the time as you become an expert. Increase the height of the bag gradually, so that your kicks are higher.

13. Squat Jumps

Squat jumps cardio exercise

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This versatile exercise improves blood circulation levels and boosts metabolism. It burns loads of calories and enhances the power of the legs. No equipment, no special training required! You can do this amidst your chores if you do not have a dedicated fitness routine.

How To Do

  1. Stand erect with the feet shoulder-width apart. Rest your hands on either side of your body.
  2. Stretch your hands in line with your chest, parallel to the floor, and push yourself into a squat.
  3. Tuck in your core muscles and jump as high as possible.
  4. Lift your hands above your head simultaneously.
  5. Land back on the floor in a squat.
  6. This makes one rep.
  7. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

14. Crab Walk

It helps to strengthen your arms, back, legs, and core. It is a fun way to do cardio exercises at home.

How To Do

  1. Sit on the floor, bending your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Place your hands below your shoulders, palms on the floor, and fingers pointed towards you.
  3. Lift your hip by distributing the entire body weight on your hands and legs.
  4. Walk forward and backward with your legs and arms.
  5. Do it for a minimum of 20 minutes.

15. Surya Namaskar

Suryanamaster caradio exercise

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This cardiovascular workout can help you stay fit and fab. It consists of 12 yoga asanas and helps you stay in shape while keeping your mind calm and composed.

Doing each pose with precision and a faster pace will help you burn more fat/calories. Start off slowly, with five rounds, increasing the count gradually over time. Relax for about 15 seconds after each rep.

16. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbing cardio exercise

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Burn calories, tone your abs and thighs, strengthen your muscles, and improve your circulation levels with this quick and easy cardio exercise.

How To Do

  1. Lie on the floor in a plank position with your body balancing on your wrists. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe.
  2. Keeping your lower back arched, bend your left knee towards your chest.
  3. Hold the pose for 2 seconds, return to the initial position, and swiftly repeat with the right leg.
  4. This makes one rep. Do this without a break until you complete one set.
  5. Do 2 sets of 20 reps each, improving the reps to 50 with practice.

17. Dancing

Dancing exercise for cardio

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Dance as a form of aerobic and cardio exercise promotes full body and mind improvement. Dancing to your favorite music helps to improve physical fitness and mental health and develops social skills (3).

Infographic: Safety Tips To Follow While Exercising

Cardio exercises are beneficial for health. However, there are times you might overdo it, which can have adverse effects. Moreover, there are certain things you should keep in mind when doing any form of cardio activity at home. Have a look at the infographic below for more details.

safety tips during exercise [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While it may not be possible to hit the gym everyday, doing the above cardio exercises at home can keep your workout routine going strong and uninterrupted. These not only help strengthen your lung capacity, but also help decrease the risks of various chronic ailments. Skipping, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, spot jogging, suryanamaskar, and dancing are a few of the many ways you can keep your heart and lungs going strong with improved stamina and endurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which cardio burns the most fat?

HIIT (high-intensity interval training), running, and swimming are some cardiovascular exercises that burn the most calories.

Can I do cardio every day?

Yes. You can do cardiovascular training every day, but five times a week is preferred by most.

What is the easiest cardio exercise?

Walking, cycling, and jumping rope are some of the easiest cardio exercises.

sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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Priyanka is a nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics... more

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