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
Around the World
Start in a tabletop position. Step your right foot forward to the outside of your right hand, then step your left foot forward to the outside of your left hand (your hips should be lifted). Lower your right knee back to start, then your left knee. Repeat.
Tip: Try to do this at a quick pace to get your heart rate up at the start of the workout–but don't go so fast that you lose your balance.
From a tabletop position, step your right foot forward so it's in front of and just outside your right hand. Extend your left leg out behind you, so you're in a lunge position with both hands on the floor. Now, keeping your hands on the floor, lift your front toe, straighten your knee and shift your hips back until both legs are straight. Come back into the lunge position and repeat.
Tip: If you can't fully straighten your front leg while you move your hips back, that's fine. Only straighten it as much as feels comfortable.
Side Plank Heel Flap
Get into a side plank position on your left side, hips lifted off the floor. Lift your top leg, bend your knee and tap your toes to the floor in front of your stationary leg. Then, keeping your knee bent and facing forward, lift your foot toward the ceiling.
Tip: Make this move easier by putting your right hand on the floor in front of your torso for extra stability. If you're feeling strong and steady, lift it toward the ceiling instead.
Single Foot Hops
From tabletop position, lift your hips up toward the ceiling, straighten your legs, then bend your left leg and lift your left foot off the floor. Jump your right leg to the right side, then to the left. That's one rep.
Tip: Try to keep your shoulders directly over your hands the whole time instead of letting them shift backwards toward your feet.
Get into a forward bridge position, with your hands on the floor, feet together on the floor and your hips lifted toward the ceiling. Hop your feet about a foot forward, splitting them in the air so they land wider than shoulder width apart. Jump them back to starting position and repeat.
Tip: Again, aim to keep your shoulders directly above your hands. And remember that you don't have to jump your feet as far forward as your hands–just a foot will do.
Flick Cross Kick
Starting in tabletop position, bring your right foot forward so it's just behind and to the outside of your right hand and your knee is bent at 90 degrees. Press your weight into your right leg as you lift your left leg off the floor and bring your hips forward and up, so your weight is supported by your right leg and both arms. Then kick your left leg behind your right leg. Bring your left knee back to the floor, return to tabletop position and kick your right foot back behind you. That's one rep.
Tip: There are a lot of moving parts to this one, so go slowly until you get the hang of it.
Back in Double Side
From tabletop position, lift your right foot off the floor and kick it back behind you. Then do two quick kicks out to the side. That's one rep.
Tip: Don't let your weight shift to the left as your kick out to the right side. Keep it centered and evenly distributed between your hands and your left knee.
Side to 45
Start in tabletop position with your knees together. Lift your right leg and kick it out to your right side, then bring your knee back to the floor. Lift your left leg and kick it out behind you and to your left, then bring your knee back to the floor. That's one rep.
Tip: Try to keep your back flat and avoid arching during and between both kicks.
Get into a plank position with your feet wide. One leg at a time, bend your knee and bring your knee toward the floor, then switch. That's one rep.
Tip: Do this one as quickly as you can while maintaining good plank form, meaning your hips aren't rising toward the ceiling, your shoulders are directly over your hands and you're squeezing your core tight.
From your front bridge position (hands on the floor, hips toward the ceiling and feet together), kick your right foot up off the floor, then your left foot, aiming to get your heels to your butt. Bring your feet back to the floor one at a time. That's one rep.
Tip: You want to do this quickly but controlled. You should never kick so hard that you feel like you might tip over your shoulders.
Videos courtesy of Nicole Winhoffer