7 High-Powered Cardio Workouts At Home That You Can Do Today

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Many people find the comfort, convenience, and privacy of working out at home a better atmosphere for them than working out at a gym. Ever since the global COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and gyms and communal fitness centers were required to shut down, the popularity of at-home workouts has skyrocketed.

Some people prefer to do all of their exercise at home, enjoying a full lineup of strength training and HIIT workouts, and even cardio workouts at home when they can’t get outside for a run or make it to the gym for their favorite spin class.

Although at-home cardio workouts are pretty straightforward if you have purchased at least one type of home exercise equipment, such as a treadmill, indoor cycle, or elliptical trainer, not everyone has taken the plunge to furnish a home gym, particularly if they are on a tight budget, have limited space, or only intend to do at-home cardio workouts every so often.

The good news is that there are plenty of home cardio workouts you can do with little to no exercise equipment. With just your body weight and a little bit of space to move around, you can get your heart pounding, blood pumping, and body moving.

In this article, we’ve put together some at-home bodyweight cardio workouts so that you can get great cardio workouts at home without equipment.

We will cover: 

  • What Is an At-Home Cardio Workout?
  • How to Do Cardio Workouts At Home
  • 7 Cardio Workouts At Home You Can Do Today

Grab your water bottle, and let’s get moving!

A person doing mountain climbers at home.

What Is an At-Home Cardio Workout?

First, it’s helpful to define what is meant by a “cardio“ workout.

The purpose of a cardio workout also called an aerobic workout, is to increase your heart rate so that you challenge and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the low-intensity cardio zone falls between 57-63% of your maximum heart range.

The moderate-intensity cardio zone corresponds to a heart rate range of 64-76% of your maximum heart rate, while vigorous-intensity cardio is associated with a heart rate of 77-95% of your max.

Two people planking at home looking at their puppy.

These classifications vary slightly from those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which delineate only moderate-intensity exercise and vigorous-intensity exercise, with corresponding heart rates of 50-70% of your maximum heart rate and 70-85% of your maximum heart rate for moderate- and vigorous-intensity cardio, respectively.

Although a workout can be considered “cardio“ exercise anywhere in these zones, some people find the designation of “moderate intensity“ and “vigorous intensity“ aerobic exercise important since there are different guidelines as to how much of each you need to reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases.

The guidelines for physical activity for adults set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the British Heart Foundation are to accumulate either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio exercise per week.

For this reason, it can be helpful to wear a heart rate monitor during your cardio workouts at home to get a sense of your true effort level and the physiological impact of your workouts.

Therefore, cardio workouts at home essentially involve performing any type of exercise that increases your heart rate to at least 50% of your maximum heart rate throughout the workout.

A person doing high knees at home.

How to Do Cardio Workouts At Home

If you own cardio exercise equipment such as an indoor cycle or treadmill, you can easily do an at-home cardio workout either by just doing a steady-state effort workout or an interval workout, such as HIIT.

However, if you don’t own any equipment, you’ll have to be more creative. With that said, if you are interested in doing cardio workouts at home quite often but don’t have the budget or space to buy bulky, expensive exercise machines, there are other inexpensive fitness tools that can help you get great cardio workouts at home for less money or with a smaller footprint.

Examples include jump ropes, slide boards, and rebounders (mini trampolines).

Otherwise, you can do bodyweight cardio workouts at home.

Aim to exercise for at least 10 minutes, and up to 45 to 60 minutes, depending on your fitness level, fitness goals, and overall workout plan.

A good target for most at-home cardio workouts is 20 to 45 minutes.

A person doing a plank at home.

7 At-Home Bodyweight Cardio Workouts 

For the following workouts, all you need is your body weight, although if you have a jump rope, you can grab that too. 

Make sure you have a water bottle, and if you have a heart rate monitor, strap it on to make sure you are pushing your body hard enough.

#1: 20-Minute Up-and-Down Cardio Workout

This equipment-free cardio workout is great for people who want to do a cardio workout at home but have very little space because all you need is about a 6 foot x 6-7 foot area in which to move.

You will cycle between two basic but challenging bodyweight exercises: high knees sprinting in place and mountain climbers in a push-up position. 

Essentially, you are running in the upright, vertical position and then running in the horizontal position.

Perform each move for 60 seconds and then switch.

Cycle continuously between the two movements, not allowing any sort of rest or break in between each exercise unless, of course, you are a beginner who is just building up your fitness.

Perform 10 rounds of 60 seconds of each exercise for a 20-minute calorie-torching cardio workout.

A person doing a cardio workout by climbing stairs.

#2: 30-Minute Stair Running Workout

If you have stairs in your home or apartment building, you have a built-in piece of exercise equipment for cardio workouts.

Climbing stairs is a great form of cardio and strength combined into one workout.

  1. Warm up by walking up and down the stairs you intend to use for three minutes.
  2. Run or walk up and down the stairs as fast as you can continuously for 25 minutes.
  3. Cool down with two minutes of easy walking up the stairs. 

#3: 20-Minute Jump Rope Cardio Workout

You don’t have to have a jump rope for this home cardio workout; just mimic the jump roping motion with your arms and legs and jump over an invisible rope.

  1. Warm up by jogging in place for 2 minutes.
  2. 8 x 90 seconds jumping rope fast with 30 seconds of rest or easy jumping for recovery between each.
  3. 2-minute cooldown marching in place.
A person jumping rope.

#4: 40-Minute Cardio Workout

This 40-minute cardio workout involves performing a simple circuit of six bodyweight calisthenics. Beginners can do fewer rounds for a shorter workout.

Begin with 2 minutes of jogging in place to warm up

Then, complete six rounds of the following bodyweight cardio exercises:

  • 60 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 60 seconds of high knees sprinting in place
  • 60 seconds of mountain climbers 
  • 60 seconds of side-to-side hops over a line
  • 60 seconds of burpees
  • 60 seconds of fast feet (squatting down in an athletic stance position, legs wide, alternating weight bearing between one foot and the other as fast as you can)
A person doing high knees.

#5: 30-Minute Equipment Free Cardio Workout

This is a great cardio and strength training workout all in one.

Complete three rounds of the following 10 bodyweight cardio exercises:

  • 60 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 60 seconds of alternating jumping lunges
  • 60 seconds of tuck jumps
  • 60 seconds of mountain climbers
  • 60 seconds of crab kicks (crab walk position, alternating kicking legs up)
  • 60 seconds burpees
  • 60 seconds crossover mountain climbers (right knee towards left shoulder, and left knee towards right shoulder)
  • 60 seconds seal clap jumping jacks (arms come straight across your chest parallel to the floor and clap in the middle)
  • 60 seconds jump squats
  • 60 seconds high knees sprinting in place 
A person doing mountain climbers at home.

#6: Your Choice 20-Minute HIIT Cardio Bodyweight Workout 

This 20-minute cardio HIIT workout can be done with any type of bodyweight cardio exercise, such as sprinting in place, jumping rope, burpees or squat thrusts, jump squats, jumping jacks, star jumps, seal jumps, or mountain climbers.

  1. Warm up with three minutes of easy jogging in place.
  2. 15 x 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy.
  3. Cool down with two minutes of jogging in place.

#7: 15-Minute Burpees Or Bust Cardio Workout

This is a killer total-body cardio and strengthening workout with burpees. It’s a short workout but super intense.

  1. Warm up with three minutes of easy jogging in place.
  2. 12 x 45 seconds hard, 15 seconds easy.
  3. Cool down with two minutes of easy jogging in place.

There you have it, seven cardio workouts at home that will get your heart pounding! Looking for some bodyweight strength training to add to your sessions?

Check out our bodyweight workout, no equipment is necessary.

A person doing a lunge at home.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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