No More Excuses: Commit with Cardio Workouts at Home

I realize that working out at home is not always an ideal situation. Personally, I would rather get out in the fresh air and go for a run, but sometimes situations arise where lack of planning and/or discipline prevent that from happening before my husband has to leave for work. On days like this, with 5 kids, 2 not in school yet, I have to get creative, and that means finding a good home cardio workout. You can do it. No excuses! Even if the only piece of equipment you have is a little bit of floor space, you are on your way.

Treadmills, stationary and recumbent bikes, and elliptical machines are awesome if you have them, but you can do an abundance of awesome cardio workouts at home, without gym equipment, that will raise your heart rate, strengthen your muscles, and aid in weight loss , no question.

Good Cardio Workouts at Home

A good cardio workout at home is anything that will keep you moving for at least 30-45 minutes. A few weeks ago I came across this home cardio workout, and kind of finagled it to meet my needs, pulling exercises from here and there, and it works amazing, meaning I am totally spent by the end of it.

Warm-Up: 5 minutes jogging in place, or around my house.

Exercise #1: Burpees: 2 sets of 30 seconds: Stand with feet together, squat down and put your hands on the floor in front of your feet. In an explosive movement, jump feet backward into a push-up position. Then jump feet back toward your hands and jump back up to standing position. To add more difficulty, try actually adding in a push-up while in the push-up position.

Jog in place: 1 minute between and after sets (active recovery)

Exercise #2: Side Lunges with Windmill Arms: 1 minute: Stand with legs apart, arms straight out to sides, parallel to the floor. Bend the right knee into a side lunge bringing the left arm down to touch the right foot. Switch legs by standing up rotating arms and lunging to the left, bringing the right hand down to the left foot.

Jog in place: 1 minute recovery

Exercise #3: Squat Jumps: 2 sets of 15 reps: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms high above your head. Bend knees, swing arms down and back behind and then explode upward, jumping as high as possible and swinging arms up above your head. Return to start position and repeat continuously.

Jog in place: 1 minute recovery between sets and after sets

Exercise #4: Heel Digs: 1 minute: Start with your feet together. Jump up and land on your right leg, extending the left heel out in front of you on the floor. Jump up and alternate legs, landing on the left and bringing the right heel out in front. Keeping the body low to the ground and jumping as high as you can will add to the difficulty.

Jog in place: 1 minute recovery

Exercise #5: Mountain Climbers: 2 sets of 30 seconds: Start in push up position. Jump left knee towards the chest, touching feet to the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bring right knee up and the left knee back. Continue for designated period of time.

Jog in place: 1 minute of recovery between and after sets

Exercise # 6: Frog Jumps: 2 sets of 15 reps: Start standing up, feet shoulder width apart. Squat down to the floor and in and energetic burst, push up from the floor, jumping up as high as you can, tapping your heels together. Land with knees slightly bent immediately lowering in preparation for the next jump.

Jog in Place: 1 minute recovery between and after sets

Exercise #7: Speed Skaters: 1 minute:Begin with your feet together. Jump to the right by exploding laterally and landing on the right foot. Without pausing perform another lateral jump to the left. Repeat jumping from side to side, keeping low to the floor. Swinging the arms can be added for greater intensity. Try to be explosive and jump as far as you can each time.

Jog in place: 1 minute

Exercise #8: Plyo Jacks: 1 minute:Start with feet together and jump up bringing feet out to the side, landing in a low squat position. Jump feet back together. This is basically an extremely slow jumping jack. You can also swing your arms over your head to add intensity.

Jog in place: 1 minute

Exercise # 9: Step-ups: 1 set each leg of 25 reps: Find as chair, stool, or other stable item to step up onto. Perform step-ups by stepping up and down with right leg 25 times. Switch legs leading up and down with the left leg.

Jog in place: 1-2 minutes

Exercise #10: 3 X 1 minute Running Series (High knees, Butt Kickers, and Pendulum Swings): Start with running in place, bringing knees up high, maintaining leg at a 90 degree angle, with foot flexed for one minute, then switch to butt kickers by running in place bringing heels up near buttocks, and finally for the remaining minute, pendulum swings which are performed by swinging one leg away from body laterally, then as it once again reaches the starting point, the other leg swings out laterally as high as possible. Repeat for remainder of time.

Cool Down: 5-7 minutes of Running in Place, or around my house.

Top it off with some core stability work and you are set… and exhausted!

Other Home Cardio Exercises

• Dancing
• Shadow Boxing
• Workout DVD’s
• Jump Rope
• Walking


I am not saying that at home cardio workouts will always go smoothly. You may even wonder from time to time why you even bother. There have been plenty of times when I am in the middle of the workout and my kids need something that can’t wait, so I jog over and try to get the item, moving all the while, or the kids try to join in, putting a real kink in your step if you don’t trip over them first. And I have lost count of the times I have laid down on my back to work on some core exercises and had my 2 year old plop right down on my stomach, like she just found the best bench in town. But look on the bright side, you DID it. Doing something is definitely better than nothing. You raised your heart rate, burned some calories, strengthened some muscles and most importantly taught your kids one of the most valuable life lessons-to get up and move!

Remember: No Excuses!

Deemer, Amy. (May 26, 2011) What Are Some Good Cardio Exercises to Do at Home? Retrieved on March 24, 2012 from

East Cardio at Home Workout Tips. (May 5, 2008). Retrieved on March 24, 2012 from

Get it Up, Your Heart Rate that Is: At Home Cardio (Updated 3/14/2012). Retrieved on March 24, 2012 from

Waehner, Paige. Avanced Cardio Blast. Retrieved on March 24. 2012 from


"Any change requires an initial period of discomfort until the body adjusts to the new demand." - Author unknown

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"Any change requires an initial period of discomfort until the body adjusts to the new demand." - Author unknown

3 Responses to “No More Excuses: Commit with Cardio Workouts at Home”

  1. Yes – and your conclusion paragraph is exactly right. I hear a lot of frustration from people who maybe didn’t get quite the workout they wanted. My response is that unless you’re training for a specific goal (marathon, etc.), it’s all about health & fitness – doesn’t matter if you did 3 sets instead of 4, you got your body moving, you built strength, you burned calories – something is better than nothing.

    I publish 3 20-minute, at-home workouts each week over on, with a very similar approach to what you’ve outlined here. Love it!

  2. Thanks Chris! I appreciate your comments. Thanks for sharing the website, what a great resource for people who love to workout at home!

  3. Love this workout! You’re right – it is hard to workout at home, but having a variety of exercises and a plan (as much as you can stick to it, of course) makes it easier. I noticed there were some exercises from my Advanced Cardio Blast Workout, but I love what you’ve put together even better. I’m giving this one a try tomorrow. Thanks for the great ideas!