Cardio Workouts That Don't Involve Running
By moving continuously from one move to the next (no breaks!), these Winhoffer-designed routines raise your heart rate and keep it high, giving you a serious calorie burn in addition to a toning and strengthening workout.
For both workouts, do 30 reps of each move (it goes by faster than you think). After you've gone through one round, repeat all of the moves, switching sides on exercises that work, say, one leg at a time so that every muscle gets equal attention. Go slowly at first to make sure you're getting the movements down. Eventually, as you get the hang of the moves, work on speeding up your reps without losing your form. The ultimate goal is to do each workout in about 20 to 22 minutes.
Lie on your left side with your upper body propped up on your left forearm, bend your knees and tuck your knees into your chest. Then straighten both of your legs, extending your bottom leg slightly out in front of you and your top leg slightly up and behind you. Bend your knees, bring your knees back into your chest and repeat.
Tip: Give yourself more stability by placing your right hand on the floor in front of your torso. Otherwise, challenge yourself and put your right hand on your hip.
Continue lying on your left side, knees bent. Straighten both legs and split them apart, so your bottom leg extends in a straight line with the rest of your body and your top leg rises toward the ceiling. Bring your knees back in and repeat.
Tip: Make sure your knees face forward–don't let your top knee turn toward the ceiling.
From the starting position of Open Close, sit up slightly on your left hip and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Lift your top knee off your bottom knee and swing it into your chest, then kick it out straight behind you. You want to lean forward and bend your elbows as you kick it back, then straighten your elbows and sit up taller as you bring the knee in. That's one rep. Your left hip should stay on the floor the whole time, and your left leg should stay bent and on the ground.
Tip: Squeeze your abs as you're moving your upper body up and down. You can also place your left forearm to the floor for more support.
From Side Swing starting position, straighten your left leg, then straighten your right leg and extend it directly behind you. Your elbows should be straight too. Squeeze your core to lift your body up into a plank-like position, then lower your hips toward the floor and bring them back up. That's one rep.
Tip: Put your left hand slightly out in front of your right to make balancing a little easier.
Get into a crab-walk position (think of it as a backwards tabletop position, with your back facing the floor and stomach facing the ceiling), then step your legs to the left as your twist your body toward the floor on your left side and lift your right hand off the floor and toward the ceiling. Keep your right hand lifted as you step your right foot out and away from your left, then step it back in so your inner thighs touch.
Tip: If balancing on one hand is too hard, leave your right hand on the floor.
Get into a plank position, hands on the floor. Lift your hips high enough so that you can bend your knees 90 degrees and still have about one inch between your knees and the floor. Keeping your knees bent, swing your right leg out to the side, then bring it back in and repeat on the left side. That's one rep.
Tip: Try not to let your body sway from side to side as you switch knees. Your core will have to work harder if you focus on staying steady.
Pushup with a Kick
Starting on all fours, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, lower your chest to the floor and press back up. Once your chest is back in starting position, lift your right knee off the ground, straighten your leg and kick it out to your right side at a 45-degree angle.
Tip: Aim to keep your weight centered when you kick your right leg–don't let it shift over to your left side.
Start on all fours, then lift your right knee off the ground. Contract your obliques as you bring your right knee out to the side and toward your right shoulder, then kick your right foot up and out behind you.
Tip: Focus on form over speed here and try not to let your back arch as your bring your knee in and out.
Lunge Front Kick Side
On all fours, bring your right foot forward past your right hand. Press your hips forward so your weight moves into your right leg, then bring your hips back over your left knee as you lift your right foot and kick it out to the side. Hands stay on the floor the whole time.
Tip: Aim to keep your back flat the whole time. If you feel it starting to arch, slow down.
Kneel and lift your arms over your head, bringing your hands together. Bring your right foot forward so you're kneeling on your left knee. Keeping your right foot steady, drop your knee in toward the floor, back to start, then out toward the floor. When your knee drops toward the floor, bend your elbows like you're doing a tricep extension behind your head, then straighten them as you lift your knee back to starting position. Finally, kick your right leg out to the side with a straight leg while you extend your arms out to the side.
Tip: This is a serious balance challenge, so go slowly until you get the movement down. Only kick your leg as high as you can while staying steady.
Starting on all fours, lift your right knee, flex your foot and kick it straight back behind you. Bring your knee back in and repeat.
Tip: Try to keep your shoulders directly over your hands–you don't want to lean forward as you kick your leg back.
Videos courtesy of Nicole Winhoffer