How to Do Cardio at Home

Prepping ourselves for an epic at-home cardio sesh
(yeah, they can be that tough).

It’s easy to hear “cardio at home session” and think, “More like half-ass cardio session,” … but I assure you: if you’re doing cardio correctly, it’s as good at home as anywhere else.

Now, you may have some limitations in place, such as having a small space, or being on an upstairs floor and having to be quiet. Or, you could simply have no equipment.

Whatever the case, I’m going to show you how to have an epic cardio session at home no matter what, so you can reach your goals in any scenario.

Let’s get sweaty and savage.

Cardio At Home 101

The first thing to remember about cardio is that it doesn’t necessarily always have to involve running or jumping (aka: high-impact activities). I’ve gotten just as out-of-breath doing low-impact bodyweight exercises like pullups, pushups, squats.

This is especially important to remember if you’re trying to keep cardio low-impact due to living on a top-floor apartment. After all, jumping around might create some, ahem, tension with the neighbors below you.

Now, while I’m going to mention some jumping activities like jump rope and things like high-knees and burpees, etc … if you are in this scenario, pay attention to the low-impact exercises, since they will also be the quietest.

Cardio Exercises at Home: Your Options

The key with structuring an intense cardio workout at home is to focus on implementing intervals with very short rest periods between them. Technically, you can also grab a jump rope and go at it hard for 15-30 minutes straight, but I find the most effective is to set up an interval structure with several exercises that get your heart rate up fast.

For instance, you can get in a epic cardio workout just using your bodyweight by creating an interval structure like:

  • Squat jumps, 10 reps
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • One-armed pushups, as many reps per arm as you can
  • Rest 10-30 seconds
  • Burpees to jump-knee tucks (spring up from bottom of burpee, tucking your knees into your chest in midair), 10 reps

Repeat 3-5 sets, 30 seconds rest between each set.

Now, if you have some basic equipment like a kettlebell swing or jump rope, you can really get creative. Think structuring a number of these exercise into intervals like the ones above (remember to keep that rest period short to keep you in cardio mode), and running through for 3-5 sets:

  • Double-unders, 30 reps
  • One-arm alternating kettlebell swings, one minute
  • Kettlebell squat-to-press
  • Side lunges with squat to press superset

The variations are truly endless, and trust me: even though many of these are sculpting moves, you will get a cardio conditioning simply due to the pace. Take a look at this post over at my Instagram, Primal.Swoledier (follow for weekly workouts) that also provides a good idea of how to structure simple but effective moves that get your heart rate up at home:

It really is as simple as that! If you have a yard, you can even structure your own sprint workout, and if you can invest in other equipment like pullup bars and heavy smash balls, you can expand your possibilities for cardio even more.

Always remember: low-rest intervals. These work in any space, but are also excellent for small spaces, since stacking movements gets your heart rate up, versus tons of movement through space.

Ready to smash that cardio session? Pick your intervals and let’s get it!

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