No Treadmill, No Worries
A common portion of the traditional fitness routine is cardio training. Whether it’s 5 or 10 minutes during your warm up on a treadmill or elliptical, or a full 5k run. However, if your gym lacks the equipment it can be difficult to get your workout done and even more so in the winter when you can’t get outside. So how can you still hit your cardio targets? Read on to discover some alternative methods.
- Skipping Rope
- Circuit Training
Coming first on this list is the skipping rope. The skipping rope is a fantastic alternative due to its simplicity and space efficiency. Skipping can be done in a stationary position or it can be done on the move. You can change your speed and the height of your jump at any time you want. It’s safe, it’s easy, and it can be done almost anywhere.
Rowing, while also machine dependent, is another alternative to running that can provide cardio benefits. Rowing is a full body movement that puts both the legs and arms under tension and is enough of a challenge to reach a good sweat. The intensity is also changeable on these machines in order to get to your target heart rates. Rowing is a good alternative but not great due to it relying on machine. You could also create your own rowing movement on the floor with a sturdy rack and a Theraband if space allows.
Shadow-boxing is a fantastic way to alternatively reach your cardio goals, and it’s by far the simplest thing to do on this list. By simply punching, kicking, and dodging and then combining these movements together into “combos” you can effectively reach your target heart rate. Try doing some research on what proper striking looks and feels like, what “bob and weave” means, and include it in your next session. You can even structure this further by doing rounds of boxing with appropriate rest periods in between. Add a challenge to this by boxing yourself in the mirror and dodging your own punches.
Another way you to hit your cardio goals is by using circuit training. Pick 3-4 different exercises that either isolate a certain muscle group or have the same general movement pattern, and pick a lighter weight for these. Then complete your sets one after the other, only resting when you’ve finished a set for every exercise. These parameters can be changed based on your training age and goals. Whether your circuit is 3-4 exercises or up to 10, or if you are isolating a muscle group or hitting the full body. Circuit training most importantly allows us to somewhat blend both cardio and hypertrophy benefits because it maximizes time under tension. This kind of efficiency is what you should always aim for in the gym.
Thought not always apparent, there are plenty of alternatives to the traditional machine cardio that usually dominates ½ of all commercial gym space. You can also reap some additional benefits that may not be attainable through simply running. When thinking of ways to hit your target heart rate, get creative and use this list to help optimize your workout.