Expensive equipment is not necessary for hardcore cardio workouts. Lose fat and get lean with simple but fun cardio circuits at home.

Cardio equipment isn’t necessary to get the heart pumping. By taking a back-to-basics approach, cardiovascular fitness can be achieved at home with little preparation.

Circuit training

Circuit training is a training technique where exercises are followed one after the other, with little to no rest. The “circuit” is then repeated a prescribed number of times. Usually, the exercises consist of a mix of aerobic-type activities with strength training exercises. This translates into an intense, total body workout that helps burn fat and increase strength.

Cardio workouts at home using a circuit training technique not only burn fat and increase muscle, but they can be easily tailored to suit individual needs.

Beginners can perform easier variations of exercises, and the more advanced trainer can increase the intensity. Beginners will want to complete two to three circuits, intermediates will perform three to four, and advanced exercisers will complete four to six rounds.

Cardio workouts to try

Try the following cardio workouts and change them according to specific needs and available equipment. If unfamiliar with a particular exercise, Bodybuilding.com has an excellent free exercise library.

It’s important to note that the cardio workouts below do not include warm-ups or cool-downs. Make sure to warm the muscles for two to five minutes before beginning the workout. Make sure to spend an additional five minutes at the end of the workout performing slow movements, such as walking and arm circles, to allow the body to cool down properly.

Cardio Workout One

Move swiftly from exercise to exercise with as little rest as possible. Rest for one minute at the end of the circuit, then repeat one to four times, according to goals and time allotment.

1 min. jumping jacks
1 min. pushups (adjusted to ability)
1 min. burpees
1 min. ski-jumps
1 min. walking lunges
1 min crunches
1 min. step-ups on a box or step
1 min. high knees in place
1 min. squats
1 min. plyometric jumps

Cardio Workout Two

Perform the following circuit two to six times. Remember to keep the body moving in order to keep the heart rate elevated. This will maximize fat loss. Each two-minute section consists of two exercises to alternate between. Simply switch back and forth between the exercises to prevent boredom and fatigue.

2 min. jumping rope alternated with pushup variation of choice
2 min. kickboxing moves alternated with jumping squats
2 min. Mountain climbers alternated with walking lunges
2 min. football runs alternated with pull-ups (or assisted pull-ups)
2 min. crab walks alternated with running sprints

There are no excuses for forfeiting cardio workouts. They can be performed anywhere with no equipment. Lose fat and build muscle by performing the above cardio exercise routines three to five times a week.

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