Cardio workouts are essential for maintaining good health. They reduce stress levels, boost energy, and improve mood. The key is to choose the right kind of cardio workout for you.
Cardiovascular exercises include running, cycling, swimming, rowing, cross country skiing, walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, etc.
These activities increase heart rate and improve cardiovascular fitness. They also burn calories and build muscle mass.
But which cardio exercises are best for women? We have put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about cardio exercises for women. Keep reading to find out more.
Types Of Cardio
There are lots of different types of cardio exercises, each with their own benefits and challenges.
If you are looking for cardio exercises that you can do outdoors, then you should consider running/jogging, walking/hiking, and cycling.
These are all great examples of exercises that will get you into the great outdoors, so you can enjoy the fresh air, whilst also improving your fitness and helping you to lose weight.
Swimming is another form of cardio which you can do in an indoor pool or in outdoor areas like lakes and the sea. It uses all the muscles in your body and gives you a great workout.
Organized activities like dancing and different types of combat training also make excellent cardio workouts for women.
As well as getting your heart rate up and improving your fitness, they can also make you feel much more confident.
One of the easiest ways for women to get a good cardio workout is to do a home workout that is based on interval training.
This is a combination of different exercises that use your own body weight to strengthen your muscles.
You can use the various exercises to build a workout that will not only strengthen your whole body, but will also improve your cardio fitness and help you to lose weight.
The Best Cardio Exercises For A Home Workout
If you want to put together your own home workout full of great cardio exercises, then you are in the right place. This is a list of the best cardio exercises and instructions on how to do them correctly.
Stand tall with your feet together. Jump your feet out into a wide stance, lifting both arms out to your side and over your head.
Once you have landed, bring your feet back together for a second jump and bring your arms back down by your sides. Repeat these jumps as fast as you can but in a controlled manner.
This is a great exercise to do to begin your workout as it will get your heart rate up whilst warming up your body in preparation for some of the more difficult moments later on.
You can count a certain number of jumping jacks, or you can do as many as possible in 60 seconds.
Start by standing straight with feet hip-width apart, pointing forward. Lower hips until your thighs are parallel to ground, using your glute muscles to maintain control.
Your weight should be in the heels of your feet, not the front of your feet. Push back up and repeat.
You want to do this movement slow enough to maintain control and good form, but fast enough that your heart rate rises.
You can either count out a certain number of squats, such as 30, or you can set a timer for a minute or two and see how many you can get done.
If you want to make this exercise more intense, you can do some squat jumps as well.
Keep the same position, but when you come up from the squat, jump straight up into the air. Use your legs to get momentum, and swing your arms upwards.
As you land, engage your muscles to control your weight and land softly, returning to the squat position.
Lunges are great for toning your legs. Begin standing up with your feet shoulder width apart. Take a step forward with your left foot, then lower your body until your knee is at a 90-degree angle.
Bring your foot back to the starting position, then do the same with the right leg.
The challenge with lunges is maintaining your balance whilst trying to build up some speed. You can do a certain number of reps on one leg, and then switch to the other leg.
Or you can alternate between the two different legs. Make sure that your ankle and knee are aligned and pointing forwards to avoid twisting and sustaining an injury.
Burpees are well known in the fitness world for being challenging, but they do help you to achieve some excellent results.
Begin in a standing position. Jump straight up in the air, then drop to the ground on your hands and feet rather than hands and knees.
Jump your feet back so that your legs are straight, as if you were going to do a push-up, then jump them back to be level with your waist.
Push yourself up into a standing position and jump straight up into the air again.
If this is too difficult, you could try a walking push up instead. Begin in a standing position and then bend over at the waist.
Walk your hands along the floor, keeping your feet in place, until you find yourself in a press up position.
Complete a press up, then walk your hands back until you are in a standing position. Repeat this exercise.
Running In Place
Running in place is one of the most simple cardio exercises you can build into your workout.
Simply stand in one place and jog on the spot, lifting your arms and your legs to get a good range of movement. Try to do this for at least 60 seconds to elevate your heart rate.
You don't actually need a rope in order to benefit from the jump rope exercise.
Stand in the position as if you were going to start skipping with a rope, but your hands are empty.
Jump on the spot using just your toes and the balls of your feet, engaging your calves. At the same time, rotate your wrists at waist height in time with the jumping.
This is a fast way to get your heart rate up and make you sweat whilst building your muscles. Try to do this for at least 60 seconds.
There are two ways to become a stair climber. You can climb the stairs in your house at a brisk pace, and repeat this, making sure you are careful not to fall as you descend.
Alternatively, you can mimic the action of climbing up the stairs. It is similar to walking on the spot, but you raise your knees higher.
Mountain climbers take the stair climber one step further. Turn your walking on the spot into a cross between jumping and sprinting on the spot, lifting one left at a time.
Get your knee as high up as possible. As you raise the leg, lift the opposite arm upwards, almost as if you were climbing a ladder. 7
This is a dynamic exercise that works your legs, arms, and abdomen.
Butt kicks are a variation of running on the spot. Instead of running by bringing your legs out in front of you, kick your legs backwards so that you gently tap your bottom with your feet.
Keep your movements light and bouncy. This will get your heart pumping and will also work your glute muscles.
This exercise is great for building leg strength, and you will be surprised at how quickly the sweat starts pouring down your face!
Begin on the floor on all fours. Make sure that your wrists are in line with your knees. Lift one leg, keeping it bent, and raise it behind you.
Squeeze your bottom to get maximum lift, then put your leg back down. Repeat this with the other leg. You can complete a full set on each leg, or switch between alternate legs.
A slightly different exercise you can also do in this position is a leg raise. Begin in the same position, but straighten your leg as you raise it out behind you.
Lift it as high as you can, whilst using your back and core muscles to keep your hips level with each other.
This is another great cardio exercise that you can do on the floor. Begin on all fours again with your wrists aligned with your knees.
Instead of lifting your leg out behind you, raise it up to the side, keeping your knee bent. This will work your hip muscles.
These are called fire hydrants as it looks similar to a dog raising their leg against a fire hydrant. Repeat the movement on each side.
There are lots of different types of cardio exercises that are great for women. If you are looking for something easy that requires no equipment, you can try our home workout recommendations.
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