An exercise regimen has to comprise of strength straining, flexibility and fat reduction techniques. Using weights to improve muscle tone is all well and good, but if fat isn’t burned, no amount of weight training will give you those toned abs you yearn for. Getting enrolled at a gym is one of the best ways to get a workout designed for your body type but you can also fill interim periods by following an all-round regimen at home.
Exercises don’t need expensive equipment though those who can afford them shouldn’t scrimp either. Rather than equipment, performing the right exercises is the key to attaining fitness and having a well-sculpted body. Below is a list of cardio workouts that cost only a few dollars but are followed by athletes and fitness buffs alike.
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• Low-impact exercises are great for beginners and people with back and knee problems. They don’t strain the joints, but work with them to increase strength and reduce fat.
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• Warm up for five minutes by doing simple stretches and step touches. This will get your heart rate going and loosen limbs.
• Perform side lunges for two minutes. This consists of standing with legs wide apart and keeping the arms stretched out. Touch your left foot with your right arm, stand up, and touch your right foot with your left arm. Repeat the steps as fast as possible but slow down if you feel unnatural pain.
• Front kick lunges are another. Light weights can be used to strengthen the arms. Stand and bend slightly at the knees keeping elbows tucked in and fists loosely clenched. Kick with the right foot, flow back into a bent position and lunge with the left while keeping the left leg straight back. Touch the floor with the right hand to steady yourself. Repeat the exercise with the left foot and go through the entire sequence for five minutes.
These are a few choices for high-impact workouts and if you’re healthy enough to bear the strain, there’s nothing like them. Remember, however, that these exercises can cause injury and shouldn’t be performed by people suffering from joint and back problems. A quick consultation with your family doctor will help decide a regimen.
• Jumping rope is one of the best ways to burn fat. It’s such an effective cardio workout that even top athletes jump rope before proceeding with their usual exercise regimen. Beginners can start with a weighted rope to cut the air faster and progress to a lighter rope as strength and flexibility increase.
There’s a technique when jumping rope that reduces strain on the joints. Lightly landing, keeping the knees slightly bent and jumping with a straight back should be practiced. Wear cushioned shoes designed for training/running.
• Jumping jacks are another medium- to high-impact exercise. Weights can be added for strength training. A set of 20 jumping jacks followed by burpees and back to jumping rope will give you a high impact, high intensity workout.
• Burpees are full-body workouts that involve squats, front planks and more squats all at the same time. They’re also a high intensity exercise. Beginners should try attempting 20 burpees and increase the number as strength is built.
There are many burpee variants you can incorporate into your high impact cardio workout. You can add a push up to the routine by performing one push up before moving into the plank position. Or you can use only one arm at a time when doing the push up and the plank.