These 51 best bodyweight cardio exercises will help you burn tons of calories, get you fitter and in better shape. 5 bonus full body cardio workouts included!
51 Best Bodyweight Cardio Exercises (5 Cardio Workouts)
Best Bodyweight Cardio Moves You Can Do At Home
In the video above you can find 51 of the best bodyweight cardio exercises that can be used in addition to your resistance workouts such as lifting weights or strength calisthenics or any resistance approach.
Also, these movements will challenge your body equally to develop stamina, agility, strength endurance and burn lots of calories which leads towards improved weight loss.
This cardio exercise video includes all fitness levels from the very beginner to the advanced trainee. While these are not categorized, you can find multiple ideas to supplement your training regimen and to learn new movements which is always a benefit.
How To Use This List Of Cardio Exercises at Home?
We will review 2 ways of how you can use this list of cardio exercises at home, outdoor or while being on the road:
1. Workout finishers or mini circuits - in this case, you can pick 2-3 cardio moves and combine them into a small circuit session. It can be applied at the very end of any resistance/strength routine in order to enhance your cardio, conditioning and weight loss. Do 3-5 total rounds by performing each move for X seconds of work followed by X seconds of rest. We will review the timer options in the very next chapter!
2. Complete HIIT bodyweight cardio workouts - compared to the mini circuits, the complete HIITs will include between 4 and 10 bodyweight cardio exercises. The variety will be more broad and that itself will enhance the overall intensity of the session.
Once ready with the exercise selection, set a timer to 30/30, 30/20 or 30/15 seconds on/off and you will perform each movement one after each other (this is a HIIT and circuit workout).
Perform a total of 3-6 rounds with 90-120 seconds rest between.
How To Build Full Body Cardio Workouts at Home?
In order to build effectively at-home full body cardio workouts, we will have to review your optional timers for implementation.
As discussed in the chapter above, by using these 51 best bodyweight cardio exercises, you can create workout finishers/mini circuits or stand-alone HIIT bodyweight workouts. The mini circuits consist of 2-3 moves while the full body HIITs include 4-10 cardio exercises.
All exercises should be performed in a circuit fashion or one after the other for maximal cardio demand.
Once you pick what workout type and exercises suit you best, now it's time to see how to create the structure of the workouts:
Beginner interval timers - as a beginner, the timers used are absolutely critical in order to determine will you endure and survive the session, or not. Here are a few options to pick from 30/45, 30/30, 30/20, 20/40, 20/30. 20/20 seconds of work/rest protocol.
As you can notice, we use at least a 1:1 ratio and above of work/resting protocol.
Avoid: Tabata timers 20/10 seconds of work rest, 30/15 , 40/20, 45/15, 50/10 interval timers at any cost.
The main problem is that once the fatigue kicks in, your exercise technique will drop which is dangerous and can lead to injuries.
Intermediate and advanced interval timers - 20/10 seconds of work rest, 30/15, 40/20, 45/15, 50/10, 30/10.
The number of working rounds - the more exercises are included in a single set, the fewer rounds will be required in order to get a complete workout. Normally, somewhere between 2 and 7 rounds should be completed for a single session where a finished round is considered once you move through 1 set for each exercise.
Between round resting periods - once you finish with the working round, it is recommended in most cases, a between round resting period, or a bigger rest to be implemented in order for your body to recover and prepare for the upcoming bout of exercises. Such resting periods should be between 1 and 3 minutes based on the workout intensity and your training level.
Use This Dynamic Warm Up Before Doing Bodyweight Cardio
Warming up before doing bodyweight cardio workouts is essential since it will increase the core temperature and wake up the nervous system. That itself will enhance the brain-muscle connection, hence, the exercises and movements will feel more right and you will feel which muscles are working with higher attention and focus.
In addition, the workout performance will improve and the risks of injuries will be decreased. Not just that but an active and dynamic warm up will lubricate the joints and ligaments which will loosen up the limbs and the range of motion will improve. That itself will give you more confidence to perform the cardio exercises with high efficiency since you will not have any joint or muscle tightness limitations.
Is Bodyweight Training Good For Cardio?
The bodyweight exercises are an excellent choice to improve your overall cardio, conditioning and stamina. In addition, some moves will push the muscles to work under tension and resistance which will lead to increased muscle build and additional calories burnt. In summary, you can perform effective and full body cardio workouts by using just your own body.
What Are The Bodyweight Cardio Exercises?
The bodyweight cardio moves are exercises with higher dynamic and athletic nature. Such movements will spike up the heart rate still from the very first repetitions and you will not manage to endure these for more than 1-2 minutes time. The bodyweight cardio moves will not just improve your cardio and help you burn more calories but these will also improve the strength endurance and will build some muscle.
Low Intensity vs. High Intensity Cardio
Since we are already aware of what exactly the bodyweight cardio exercises are, we have to compare these with the lower intensity cardio activities such as jogging, biking, hiking and swimming.
The low-intensity cardio activities are excellent for longer duration workouts. These will improve your endurance like nothing else. However, people are mistaken to use mainly such routines for weight loss purposes. While such an approach will still help to achieve such a goal, it's far away from the most optimal method.
To lose weight and build a better-looking body, you need intensity, resistance workouts and diet of course. We will focus on the first two.
The problem with low-intensity cardio is that you adapt too quickly and in a short period of time, the outcome and results will slow down since the stimulation and effort required will be decreased.
In addition, low-intensity cardio is not building muscle (or not as much as compared to resistance exercises) and that itself is enough reason for your body to not look as you might want after a certain period of running, biking, or swimming.
On the flip side, the bodyweight cardio exercises will provide high-intensity demand and resistance tension on the working muscles which will burn more calories and trigger the muscles to grow and the body fats to vanish.
Of course, such exercises are not the optimal muscle-building approach, however, if your goal is to lose weight and to have a better-looking body, then it's a no-brainer in regards to which one of these to pick and stick with.
How To Combine Low Intense Cardio With HIIT?
In case you like to do jogging, long-duration biking, hiking, or swimming but still need to perform HIIT workouts for better muscle activation, build and strength endurance, then an appropriate combination would be to do 3 full body HIIT routines per week combined with 2 low-intensity cardio workouts per week.
Here is a good weekly workout plan structure of low-intensity cardio and HIIT workouts:
1. Monday - HIIT full body workouts.
2. Tuesday - low-intensity cardio session.
3. Wednesday - HIIT full body OR HIIT core workout.
4. Thursday - Rest day. A yoga or mobility session is appropriate.
5. Friday - HIIT full body workout.
6. Saturday - low-intensity cardio session.
7. Sunday - Rest day. A yoga or mobility session is appropriate.
In summary, the HIIT routines will play the role of muscle and endurance building while the low-intensity cardio will act as a cardio capacity builder. In fact, the low intense routines will help you recover faster by the HIIT routines since the prolonged cardio will help your body flush away the accumulated lactic acid by the tension created by HIIT.
On Thursday, instead of doing a full body workout (this is in case your body is too tired), you can proceed with core HIIT workout.
Can You Lose Weight With Bodyweight Cardio Exercises?
Losing weight with bodyweight cardio moves is possible since such exercises are normally with higher intensity and dynamic nature. That itself will make these harder, hence, you will burn excess calories while performing them. If you are consistent and you manage to sleep well and be in at least a slight caloric deficit, then it is guaranteed that you will lose weight with bodyweight cardio exercises.
Can You Get Ripped With Bodyweight Exercises?
Being ripped means having a fit and athletic body with high muscle definition and low body fat percentage. To achieve such a body, you need to be on a serious calorie deficit diet and to perform exercises for a high number of repetitions per set. Some of the bodyweight cardio exercises will allow you to proceed so, hence, you can get ripped with the help of such moves.
Advice: if getting yourself a ripped body is your fitness goal, then it would be more logical to perform such exercises as a separated one, not combined in a circuit and HIIT frame.
Instead, go for classical repetitions which in this case should be at least 15-20 repetitions per set. Try to go even further to 25-30 reps per set. Perform 6-8 exercises, 4-6 sets for each, 60-90 seconds rest between sets. 2 minutes rest between exercises.
Which Cardio Burns Most Fat?
The full body HIIT bodyweight cardio exercises burn most body fat since such moves will push your body to burn maximal calories for a short amount of time. And if you perform a few similar moves everytime you do HIIT then the outcome will be noticed quickly.
PS: Bear in mind that normally such thing as the best fat-burning exercise does not appear. Your body will either lose weight, maintain or gain weight. The exercises are only determining the number of calories burnt during and hours after the session is finished. In a nutshell, there is no magical pill nor exercise that itself will help you get abs or make your body extremely lean and ripped.
All you need to know is that everything is determined by the calories in and calories out at the end of the day.
In other words, if you eat too much, you will get a heavier body. If you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose body weight. Simple as that.
What Is The Hardest Cardio Exercise?
The hardest bodyweight cardio moves are the full body, complex ones which combine 2-3 or even more moves. The reason for this is the targeting of all muscles in the body that will lead to a high amount of effort needed and as result, many calories burnt. Such exercises cannot be performed for long-duration sets since you have to invest lots of effort and do a high amount of work.
How Often Should You Do Bodyweight Cardio Exercises?
If you are going to perform only bodyweight cardio and HIIT workouts, then 3-5 times per week will be sufficient to help you get in better shape. If you are following a resistance training plan such as lifting weights or strength calisthenics, then 2-3 times per week of doing bodyweight cardio is a great choice.
You can implement the cardio right after the strength workouts as workout finishers or as a stand-alone cardio routine.
Can You Do Bodyweight Cardio Everyday?
No, you should not do cardio everyday. HIIT is an intense cardio activity and as such, your body needs time to recover between sessions. It is best to give your body at least 2-3 days per week of complete rest from cardio training. On rest days, instead of cardio, do yoga, mobility, or walk for longer distances.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Bodyweight Cardio?
The bodyweight cardio moves are called like that for a reason. These are classified more to the cardio side instead of the strength aspect. While you will still get resistance stimulation and get strength endured, the muscle building will be on the low side, while the conditioning will be prioritized.
To make things clear:
1. You will not gain much muscle mass by doing bodyweight cardio and HIIT workouts. Instead, you will get fitter, with higher stamina, strength endurance and conditioning.
2. On the flip side, the slow, controlled bodyweight exercises, lifting weights, working with bands, or any other resistance method applied with a slower tempo that will enhance the mind-muscle connection and allow your muscles to get a more focused contraction, will be more beneficial for muscle build, strength gain and hypertrophy.
If you want to get jacked, strong and powerful - lift weights, and do cardio 2-3 times per week for health, performance and endurance reasons.
If your goal is to get more energy, feel more vital, slim down the waist and in general, to feel and move your body with higher proficiency, then you can approach this in 3 different ways:
- Do only bodyweight cardio or HIIT workouts.
- Do bodyweight cardio/HIIT routines combined with low-intensity cardio sessions (if you're a fan of jogging, biking or hiking).
- Do bodyweight cardio/HIIT combined with any strength method such as strength calisthenics, lifting weights, working with odd objects such as sandbags, Bulgarian bags or use resistance bands.
5 Bodyweight Cardio Workouts For Beginners
As claimed in this title's article, I have prepared for you 5 complete follow along HIIT cardio workouts.
All of the following 5 bodyweight cardio workouts are follow along videos so you can only warm up, play the video and replicate. Simple as that.
You will find the title of the session, the workout video and a description below related to this routine.
Also, below each, there is a link that will lead you to a dedicated and focused article on this particular workout. So if you have any interest, by clicking on these links, you will manage to get more detailed information for each session.
7 Minute Cardio Workout For Beginners
This 7 minute cardio workout for beginners combines 6 bodyweight cardio exercises. Each should be performed for 30 seconds one after the other and without any rest in between allowed. Once done, you will rest for 1 full minute and repeat for second round.
Here is the cardio exercise list:
1. Side to side high knees.
2. Low impact speed burpee.
3. Ankle tap run in place.
4. Skater ground tap jumps.
5. High knees to mountain climbers.
6. Plank ankle taps.
10 Minute Cardio Workout For Beginners
The following 10 minute cardio workout for beginners will challenge your full body with 7 exercises. 30/15 seconds on/off. 2 total rounds should be performed.
Rest between both rounds: 1 minute.
Here is the bodyweight cardio exercise list:
1. High knee ankle tap.
2. Speed burpee.
3. Ground tap skaters.
5. High knees to mountain climbers (alternate 8 repetitions for each).
6. Alternating static monkey.
15 Minute Full Body Cardio Workout For Beginners
For this 15 minute full body cardio workout for beginners combines 6 bodyweight exercises. 30/20 seconds on/off.
3 total rounds should be completed.
60 seconds rest between working rounds.
Here is the cardio exercise list:
1. Side to side high knees.
2. Walk out push up.
3. 3 way jump squat.
4. High knees to mountain climbers.
5. Jump out to jump in.
6. Plank forward reach.
20 Minute Full Body Cardio Workout
The following 20 minute cardio workout for beginners is combining 7 exercises. 30/20 seconds on/off.
4 total rounds should be completed.
What makes this routine high intense is the fact that you will not rest for longer periods throughout the full workout. So from the very beginning until the end of the 20 minute mark, you will work for 30 seconds and rest for 20.
This routine is also suitable for the fitness intermediate trainee level since it's high intensity and some beginners might not be able to endure it until the end.
Here is the cardio exercise list:
1. Tucked shoulder tap to broad jump to pedal back.
2. Jump out to tuck jump.
3. One legged jump in. - change the leg each working round.
4. High scorpion.
5. Side crawl step push up to double arm row.
6. One arm bear to crab switch to stand up.
7. The stationary monkey.
45 Minute Cardio Workout at Home
This 45 minute cardio workout for beginners is built up of 6 movements. 30/20 seconds on/off.
7 total rounds should be completed.
2 minutes rest in between each working round.
The cardio exercise list:
1. Speed low-impact burpee.
2. Walk out to push up.
3. High knees to mountain climbers.
4. Short bear crawl to sit out.
5. Russian twists.
6. V sit hold to heel tap.
99 Of The Best Cardio Exercises You Can Do At Home
In the video above, you will find 99 of the best bodyweight cardio exercises you can do at home. These are presented by the fitness influential coach Luka Hocevar, founder of: http://vigorgroundfitness.com/ and his teammate Theo Bowie.
I have personally tried more of these cardio moves and I can share with honesty - there are golden gems inside this compilation. And if you manage to remain consistent, your results will not late.
You can pick anywhere from 5-10 exercises (one's you feel comfortable doing with good form) and go through a circuit in an interval fashion, setting a time (you can start as low as 6 minutes, if you're fitter you can start with 10 mins or more) and do any one of these intervals.
Use the following interval timers:
30 seconds on/20 seconds off
30 seconds on/30 seconds off
20 seconds on/40 seconds off
20 seconds on/30 seconds off
The bodyweight cardio exercises are an excellent choice in order to help you improve your cardio capacity, conditioning and stamina while at the same time, you are building strength endurance, burning lots of calories, improve mobility and overall, becoming a much better mover and fitter.
The outcome of performing regularly the bodyweight cardio moves is that your life will become easier since everything you do on a daily basis will require times fewer efforts compared to the high-intensity cardio workouts that you perform.
Today we have reviewed 51 of the best bodyweight cardio exercises you can do at home. Also, you can find a 10 minute follow along dynamic warm up to use before each cardio session.
Last but not least, you will find in this article 5 full body cardio workouts for beginners that you can do at home, outdoor, or anywhere you prefer.
All of these 5 routines are 100% follow along cardio workout videos which are super convenient and the only thing you have to do is to warm up, play the workout video of your choice and replicate everything presented inside.
What are your preferred and best bodyweight cardio exercises?
To your Fitter self,