6 Cardio Bodyweight Exercises to Build Strength and Endurance

By Brian Syuki, www.Care2.com
November 29, 2016 Updated: November 29, 2016

For most people, cardio means running outside or hopping on a treadmill or elliptical machine. But you can do cardio in the comfort of your home, without any equipment. In fact, cardio bodyweight exercises are better than running since they build endurance, strength and increase lean muscle mass.

After all, doing the same exercise over and over isn’t very rewarding. Research shows that exercises become less effective when repeated for a long time. So change your workout after every 4-6 weeks to get the best results.

Here are 6 cardio bodyweight exercises you should add to your routine.

1. Plank Jacks

The plank jacks will strengthen your core and give you a full body workout. Do this exercise as fast as possible.

How to perform:

Get in the straight arm plank position – keep the torso, hips and legs aligned in a straight line.

Jump the feet apart then bring them back together and repeat. Keep the core tight throughout to prevent the hips from sinking.

2. Skater Hops

This is another full body exercise which mainly targets the butt muscles and the core.

How to perform:

Stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart. Leap to the right side with the right foot.

Then swing the left leg behind the right leg, and swing your arms at the same time.

Return the left leg to starting position and then swing the right leg behind the left one and keep alternating.

3. Bed Sheet Shuffle

The bed sheet shuffle is arguably the best exercise you can do at home. You can perform it using a towel, blanket or sheets.

How to perform:

Stand upright with feet wide apart and grab a bed sheet with a grip wider than shoulder width.

Keep the elbows slightly bend and then flip the towel up and down as fast as possible.

Flip the towel until the arms are exhausted, then rest and repeat.

4. Bear Crawl

Crawling is a great way to build strength, balance and endurance. Remember that speed is important when performing this exercise.

How to perform:

Start on all fours position. Lift the knees off the floor then walk forward with the arms and legs.

Keep the core tight and make long strides with both arms and legs.

5. Mountain Climber Twists

Mountain climbers are a great cardio bodyweight exercise, and adding the twist will activate your oblique muscles and stretch the spine.

How to perform:

Start in the straight arm plank position and keep the core tight.

Pull the left knee towards the chest, and then twist it to the right side. Quickly return it to start position and alternate legs.

Alternate the legs as fast as possible and make sure the hips don’t sink.

6. High Knees 

This exercise not only builds strength and endurance but it’ll also stretch your hamstrings.

How to perform:

Stand with feet hip-width apart then lift the right knee as high as possible.

Quickly lower it and lift the left knee. Keep alternating the legs fast and keep the upper body upright.

Adding a jump to the exercise will make it more rewarding.

This article was originally published on www.Care2.com. Read the original here.

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