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Build Stamina & Lose Weight With This Beginner Cardio-Based Bodyweight Workout

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Odds are that when we say “daily cardio exercise,” you immediately think about logging miles on a treadmill or an elliptical. But it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, you should never feel boxed in or bored by your workouts. “Ugh, I guess I’ll just hop on for 20 minutes and hate every second of it” is probably the world’s worst approach to fitness.

What if we told you that you could get a kick-ass cardio workout that would keep you on your toes and build stamina without even leaving the house? Better still, the moves are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, so you can choose the ones that work for you.

Plus, the moves are mostly low impact, meaning you can do them in the comfort of your living room without worrying about annoying the downstairs neighbors. Perform each exercise for 30–60 seconds and complete 2–3 rounds.

Inchworm:

Inchworm

How to:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and keep core tight.
  • Bend from your waist, place hands on the floor, and walk hands forward, keeping legs straight.
  • When you arrive in a high plank, quickly walk your hands back toward your feet and stand.

Make it harder: Add a push-up when you’re in a high plank position.

Mountain climber twist:

How to:

  • Start in a high plank position with core tight.
  • Bring left knee in toward right elbow, then right knee in toward left elbow.
  • Continue to alternate as quickly as possible without hiking your hips.

Make it harder: Bring knees straight in toward chest rather than twisting.

Plank jack:

How to:

  • Start in a high plank position with core tight.
  • Jump your feet apart, then jump them back together.
  • Repeat as quickly as possible while trying to maintain level hips.

Plank-to-knee tap:

How to:

  • Start in a high plank position with core engaged.
  • Shift back and pike hips as you lift your right hand to tap left shin — or ankle if you’re extra flexible!
  • Return to high plank position and repeat on the other side.
  • Move through the exercise as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.

Skaters:

How to:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and keep a slight bend in knees.
  • Jump to the right with the right foot, landing lightly on the ball of the right foot and sweeping the left foot behind the right leg.
  • Don’t put weight on your left foot if you can help it!
  • Immediately jump to the left with the left foot, allowing the right foot to sweep behind the left leg.
  • Continue to alternate sides.
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