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AUG 23, 2023

Best Cardiovascular Exercises at Home: Effective Workout Routine

Getting healthy doesn’t just mean bulking up muscle. There are times when you can immerse yourself in the rhythmic beat of your heart, through cardiovascular exercise.

Welcome to our treasure trove of pulse-pounding, calorie-burning activities designed for those who crave convenience within their own four walls. So, ignite your motivation as we take you through "The Best Cardiovascular Exercises at Home: Effective Workout Routine." Whether this is your first foray into fitness and you’re seeking easy entries, or an adept athlete aiming for amplified intensity, this inclusive guide will sculpt your routine into an upbeat tempo of health and well-being.

Our article on the Best Cardiovascular Exercises at Home provides a comprehensive list and guide to cardio exercises that can be done from home, even without equipment. These exercises range from high knees, butt kicks, side shuffles, and oblique crunches at the beginner level to jump squats, burpees, and mountain climbers for the intermediate level, and provide detailed instructions on each exercise to ensure proper form and maximize results.

Key Cardio Exercises at Home

Regular cardiovascular exercise is essential for good health as it increases heart rate and delivers more oxygen throughout the body, keeping the heart and lungs healthy. It benefits your cardiovascular health and can aid in weight loss, promote better sleep, and lower the risk of chronic diseases. The great news is that numerous cardiovascular exercises can be done right from the comfort of your own home, making it easier to incorporate into your daily routine. Let's explore some key cardio exercises you can easily do at home.

One effective exercise is high knees, running in place while lifting your knees as high as possible. This movement engages multiple muscle groups and increases your heart rate, giving you a full-body workout. It's an excellent way to warm up before diving into other exercises or as a standalone cardio option.

Another simple yet effective exercise is butt kicks, which involve running in place while trying to kick your heels up toward your glutes with each stride. This exercise targets the hamstrings and quadriceps while stabilizing the core muscles. Butt kicks are a great way to pump your heart and warm your lower body.

Side shuffles are an excellent choice for those looking to add some lateral movement to their workout. Side shuffles involve taking quick steps to the side, which increases your heart rate, and improves your coordination. What’s more, it's a fun and dynamic exercise that targets the lower body muscles while getting you moving in different directions.

By incorporating these key cardio exercises into your home workout routine, you can experience the benefits of cardiovascular exercise without necessarily having to go for a daily run or hit the gym. Mix and match these exercises based on your fitness level and preferences, and remember to start slowly if you're a beginner to avoid overexertion.

Now that we've covered some key cardio exercises at home let's take a closer look at the individual movements of high knees, butt kicks, and side shuffles to ensure proper form and maximize their benefits.

High knees

When performing high knees, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee towards your chest while hopping on the opposite foot. As you lower the raised knee, immediately raise the other knee towards your chest. Alternate between legs, increasing your speed as you become more comfortable with the movement. Engage your core muscles by keeping your abs tight throughout the exercise. Remember to maintain an upright posture and land softly on the balls of your feet to reduce the impact on your joints.

Butt Kicks

Butt kicks require you to stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms extended in front of you. Start running in place while consciously kicking your heels toward your glutes with each stride. Focus on a quick and controlled motion, engaging your hamstrings and quadriceps. Keep your core tight throughout the exercise for stability and maintain an upright posture. If you find it difficult to kick your heels up initially, gradually increase the range of motion as you improve

Side Shuffles

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart for side shuffles, and slightly bend your knees. Take a quick step to the right with your right foot, then bring your left foot to meet it. Continue shuffling sideways, maintaining speed and intensity. Swing your arms naturally assists in the movement and engages your core for stability. Repeat in the opposite direction after completing a set number of shuffles to balance the exercise.

Incorporating these cardio exercises into your home workout routine can boost cardiovascular fitness while providing variety to keep things interesting. But remember to listen to your body: start at a beginner level if needed, and gradually increase intensity as you progress.

Crab Walk and Oblique Crunch of Foot

The Crab Walk and Oblique Crunch of Foot are two excellent cardiovascular exercises that can be done at home, requiring minimal space and equipment. These movements engage multiple muscle groups, increasing heart rate and delivering oxygen throughout the body. Let's dive into each exercise and explore its benefits.

The Crab Walk is a fun and effective way to get your blood flowing. This exercise targets the upper arms, back, core, and legs. To perform the Crab Walk, start by sitting on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and your hands placed behind you, fingers pointing toward your feet. Lift your hips off the ground, engaging your glutes and core muscles. Then begin walking backward or sideways in a crab-like motion. Keep your movements controlled and maintain a steady pace to maximize the cardiovascular benefits.

Imagine yourself performing the Crab Walk in your living room. You can feel the burn in your arms as they support your weight while you move gracefully across the floor like a crab. With each step, you can feel your heart rate increasing, knowing you're giving your body a great workout without fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships.

Now let's shift our focus to another effective cardiovascular exercise that can be done right at home - the Oblique Crunch of the Foot.

The Oblique Crunch of Foot is a low-impact exercise that specifically targets the muscles on the sides of your core. It helps strengthen the obliques while improving balance and stability. To perform this exercise, lay on one side with your legs extended straight in front of you. Place one hand behind your head for support while bending the leg closest to the ground at a 90-degree angle. Lift your upper body towards your bent knee while simultaneously bringing that knee toward your elbow. Lower yourself slowly and repeat the movement for the desired repetitions before switching sides.

As you perform the Oblique Crunch of Foot, you can feel the engagement of your obliques as they contract to bring your elbow and knee closer together. It's a controlled and deliberate movement that strengthens your core and gets your heart rate up. You can almost feel those calories burning away as you focus on maintaining proper form and breathing rhythmically.

Now that we've explored the benefits of Crab Walks and Oblique Crunches let's shift our attention to high-intensity cardio exercises that will take your workout routine to the next level.

    • According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week for overall cardiovascular health.
    • A study published in the Journal of Physiology in 2020 found that even short bursts of high-intensity exercise (like many home cardio workouts) can give similar health benefits to longer periods of moderate-intensity exercise.
    • In a survey conducted by AARP in 2019, around 47% of adults over 50 reported utilizing home workout routines, including cardiovascular exercises, emphasizing the increasing acceptance and efficacy of at-home fitness regimens.
    • The Crab Walk and Oblique Crunch of Foot are two effective cardiovascular exercises that can be done at home with minimal space and equipment. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups while increasing heart rate and delivering oxygen throughout the body. The Crab Walk targets the upper arms, back, core, and legs, while the Oblique Crunch of Foot strengthens the obliques while improving balance and stability. Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help you achieve a great workout without fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership.

High-Intensity Cardio Exercises

High-intensity cardio exercises are perfect for those looking to elevate their heart rate, burn calories, and challenge their endurance levels. These exercises are known for their ability to provide intense cardiovascular benefits in a short amount of time. Here are two high-intensity exercises that you can do at home:

Squat Jumps: This explosive cardio workout primarily targets the lower body muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, and calves. To perform a squat jump, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a squatting position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. From the squat position, jump up as high as possible while extending your arms overhead. Land softly into a squat position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Standing Alternating Toe Touches: This exercise engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the arms, core, and legs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and extend one leg before you while lifting the opposite arm towards the extended foot. Touch your toes with your fingertips, or try to get as close as possible without straining. Return to the starting position and alternate sides with each repetition.

Incorporating these high-intensity exercises into your home workout routine can effectively challenge your cardiovascular system and improve your strength and endurance levels. Remember to perform these exercises properly and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves.

Squat Jumps

Let's start with squat jumps. This explosive cardio workout targets your lower body, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. To perform a squat jump, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a squat position, keeping your chest and back straight. From this position, use the power in your legs to jump explosively off the ground, reaching for the sky with your arms extended. Land softly back into the squat position and repeat for a specific number of repetitions.

Imagine doing a squat jump set as part of your home workout routine. With each explosive jump, you can feel the burn in your legs and the increased heart rate pumping through your body. It's a challenging exercise that pushes you both physically and mentally.

Standing Alternating Toe Touches

Now let's move on to standing alternating toe touches. This exercise works not only your legs but also engages your core muscles and improves balance and flexibility. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart and extend one leg forward while simultaneously reaching down with the opposite hand to touch your toes. Engage your core as you return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Aim for a fluid motion, alternating between legs and maintaining good form throughout.

Both squat jumps and standing alternating toe touches effectively increase your heart rate while targeting various muscle groups in your body. By incorporating these movements into your home workout routine, you can enjoy the benefits of cardiovascular exercise without needing any equipment or gym membership.

Lunge Jumps and Plank Jacks

Consider adding lunge jumps and plank jacks to your routine to intensify your at-home cardiovascular workout further. These exercises increase your heart rate and strengthen your lower body, core, and upper body muscles.

Lunge Jumps exercise combines the power of lunges with the explosiveness of hops. Begin by stepping one foot forward into a lunge position, ensuring your front knee is directly above your ankle and your back knee hovers just above the ground. From this position, push off with both feet and jump explosively into the air, switching legs mid-air before landing in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat this movement, alternating between legs for your desired number of repetitions.

You'll feel the burn in your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves as you perform lunge jumps. The explosive nature of this exercise elevates your heart rate and challenges your coordination and balance. It's a dynamic movement that adds intensity to your at-home cardiovascular workout.

Now let's move on to plank jacks. This exercise is a variation of the traditional plank, adding a cardio element to engage more muscles and elevate your heart rate. Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to toe. From this position, jump both feet wide apart like you would during a jumping jack while maintaining proper form and core engagement. Jump them back together and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Plank jacks target your core muscles and work your shoulders, arms, chest, and legs. They're an excellent way to add a cardio boost to your home workout routine while simultaneously strengthening multiple muscle groups.

By incorporating lunge jumps and plank jacks into your at-home cardiovascular exercise routine, you can challenge yourself physically and enjoy the benefits of increased heart rate, improved muscle strength, and enhance overall fitness.

Interval Training for Home Workouts

If you're looking to maximize your cardiovascular workout at home, interval training is a highly effective method to consider. Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and active recovery. This technique not only increases your heart rate but also challenges your body in a way that burns more calories and boosts overall fitness.

The beauty of interval training is its adaptability and versatility. It can be applied to various forms of cardio exercises, allowing you to customize your routine based on personal preferences and fitness levels. Here are some key benefits and considerations when incorporating interval training into your home workouts:

  1. Increased Calorie Burn: During the high-intensity intervals, you push your body to its limits, resulting in a higher calorie burn than steady-state cardio exercises. This means that you can achieve better results in less time.

  2. Time Efficiency: Interval training allows you to condense your workout time while still reaping the benefits of a longer session. By incorporating short bursts of intensity followed by active recovery periods, you can achieve an effective cardiovascular workout within a shorter time frame.

  3. Improved Cardiovascular Fitness: Regular interval training sessions challenge your cardiovascular system, gradually increasing your endurance capacity over time. This enhances cardiovascular fitness, making daily activities easier and improving athletic performance.

  4. Variety and Fun: Interval training adds variety to your workouts by introducing different intensities and exercises. This helps combat boredom and keeps you motivated as you challenge yourself with new routines.

It's important to note that interval training should be approached cautiously, especially if you're new to exercise or have any underlying health conditions. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your high-intensity intervals as you gain strength and stamina. Always listen to your body and prioritize safety throughout your workouts.

Now that we have explored the benefits of interval training for home workouts let's discover how you can advance your home cardio routine further.

Advancing Your Home Cardio Routine

Once you've established a solid foundation with basic cardiovascular exercises at home, it's time to take your routine up and introduce more challenging movements. You can achieve better results and maintain your motivation by pushing your limits and continuously progressing in your workouts. Here are some ways to advance your home cardio routine:

  1. Intensify Interval Training: Increase the duration of high-intensity intervals or reduce the length of recovery periods to push yourself further. You can also incorporate more explosive movements like squat jumps, burpees, or mountain climbers into your intervals.

  2. Incorporate Plyometric Exercises: Plyometric exercises involve explosive movements that engage large muscle groups and increase heart rate rapidly. Examples include box jumps, tuck jumps, or jump lunges. Start with lower heights or modified versions and gradually work your way up as you build strength and stability.

  3. Try HIIT Workouts: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves short bursts of intense exercise and brief recovery periods. HIIT workouts are known for their efficiency in burning calories and improving cardiovascular fitness. For guidance, you can find various HIIT workout routines online or through fitness apps.

  4. Experiment with Cardio Equipment: If you're looking to invest in home cardio equipment, options like a jump rope, treadmill, stationary bike, or rowing machine can provide additional challenges and help you diversify your workouts.

  5. Increase Resistance: Incorporate strength training exercises into your cardio routine using resistance bands or dumbbells to add an extra challenge to your muscles and boost overall calorie burn.

Remember that your home cardio routine advancements should be gradual and tailored to your current fitness level. Always prioritize proper form and technique to prevent injury and consult a healthcare professional if needed, especially if you have any underlying health concerns.

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Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.


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