17 Best Cardio (Aerobics) Workouts At Home

by Priyanka Sadhukhan , Nutritionist, CDE, Reviewer & Writer

You don’t need a treadmill or elliptical trainer to do a cardio routine anymore. You can easily burn calories and rev your metabolism by doing cardio exercises at home without any equipment.

Cardio workouts are important to improve lung capacity and prevent the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes (1). In this article, we will discuss the best cardio exercises that you can do easily at home. Scroll down.

Best Cardio Workouts At Home

1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

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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 Jump

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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.

8. Skipping/Jump Rope

SkippingJump Rope

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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).

Ten minutes of jumping rope with high intensity can be considered equivalent to running an 8-minute mile and can burn almost 1300 calories in an hour.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Surya Namaskar

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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 Climbers

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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

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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).

Conclusion

Cardio workouts are essential to keep your heart healthy and boost your metabolism. Start doing these 17 cardio exercises at home right away. Stay healthy, stay fit!

3 sources

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Priyanka Sadhukhan

Priyanka is a nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate about science and how it can be applied to one’s daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine, and proper nutrition is key to achieving good health. She has also written a book on PCOS and its management for doctors and patients. When she is not working, she loves spending quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and endorses healthier alternatives to junk foods to promote good health.
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