Even know we hate to say it, but cardio is a major part of staying fit and healthy. Most people that I know hate running on the treadmill though for one reason or another. Instead of running on the treadmill we can just go outside and run on the local trail or park, but what can we do if its freezing cold out or the weather isn’t cooperating with us? Well here are three other cardio moves that you can do instead of running on the “hamster wheel”.
Jumping rope is an old school boxers technique to stay in shape. Jumping rope for 10 minutes can burn as many calories as jogging at an eight-minute-per-mile pace. Also it burns more calories per minute than nearly any other physical activity out there. There are different routines that you can do to get a good cardio workout in. A good beginner workout is to jump for 30 reps swinging the rope forward. Rest 30 seconds, and then do another 30 reps, swinging the rope backward. Rest again. That’s one rep. Do at least eight to ten reps. If you need a more intense workout do as many jumps as you can in a 30-minute period or intervals of 1 minute on, 1 minute off, for a 10-minute period done at a more up tempo pace.
Because hills vary so much in length and slope, it’s hard to prescribe a workout for hill sprints. A great thing about hill sprints versus other fat loss methods is that they also build muscle at the same time. Look for a hill that is at least 40 yards long. The hill should be steep enough so that it is challenging for you to walk up and down. Make sure you warm up first like always before doing any strenuous activity. Then sprint up the hill at 75% speed five times, and then add one or two more sprints at a faster pace. I mean if hill sprints were the choice of NFL legends Jerry Rice and Walter Payton, why shouldn’t they be added as your primary conditioning workout, too.
Battling ropes are a full-body strength and conditioning workout. The ropes facilitate a form of velocity training that forces you to produce and maintain power at a high level of intensity over a long period of time. You create a wave effect through the length of each rope, increasing both strength and stamina. Some basic moves include the 2-Hand Slams (a powerful exercise that will generate a great amount of strength and endurance in your core and legs. Each whip is created by violently pulling up the rope ends and then slamming them back down with just as much force), alternating slams (similar to the 2 Hand Slam except instead of pulling with both arms, you pull up with each hand at a time. Make sure the movement is fast-paced with no lag time between movements), and alternating waves (similar to the alternating slams except the movement is much smaller and quicker. The arms will feel the most fatigue on this exercise as the motion is small and does not require as much shoulder action).