The idea of getting sweaty, tired, and out of breath while not immediately losing three pounds is very offensive, especially when we’re making an effort to do the whole gym thing. Don’t put us down for cardio. However, you don’t need to sweat it out amongst grunting jocks in the gym to hit your cardio goals. You don’t even need to start waking up at 4am like the other psychopaths jogging around your neighborhood. Incorporating more cardio into your day can build muscle, burn fat, and lead you to a more toned and #blessed life, so walking, dancing, and even vacuuming are all great ways to seek the path of the Insta model. Here are some easy ways to incorporate cardio into your day.
This is probs the easiest one to do for those of us working in soulless corporate buildings with multiple floors. According to scientists, you’ll also burn more calories if you take one step at a time, so tell your boss it wasn’t the Starbucks that made you late, it was your dedication to health and fitness.
2. Gossip While Walking Around The Block
Walking is good, but walking while your mouth is running is even better. If you’re trying to get up and move around, walking for 15 minutes can burn about 66 calories, but walking while talking burns more since you’re taking more breath to multitask and rip apart Janet’s horrendous outfit. Sh*t, you could even become a real boss b*tch and host walking meetings to see who the most athletic person in your department is.
3. Hit The Clerb
Gross, but it’s a great workout. If you aren’t slamming 1,000 calorie piña coladas for four hours and are, instead, sticking to vodka sodas or just, like, water (EW), going to the club and dancing is a great way to do cardio without actually thinking about the fact that you’re doing cardio. Dancing for 30 minutes can burn as much as 150 calories. So, it may be worth it to deal with douchebags and frat bros trying to hit on you in a dark, loud room instead of a brightly lit, upsettingly quiet, and sweaty room.
4. Jump Rope
Hearken back to the olden times in PE class when jumping rope was for cool kids and your lame ass couldn’t keep up. Regain your school-age confidence and buy a jump rope for incredibly easy cardio you can do in your office or in front of the TV at home. Jumping rope works your legs, improves overall conditioning, and is obvi a great way to incorporate cardio into your life without having to step foot in a gym.
5. Go Shopping
Sounds cray, is true. Carrying a lightly loaded basket of clothes or groceries for only five minutes will burn 44 calories, according to Greatist. That sounds like a great excuse to hit up Target on my lunch break, buy a dress, AND get some food shopping done. This must be what adulthood feels like.
If you’re a slob and need to clean your house or apartment, you can kill two pounds birds with one stone. About 30 minutes of housework—i.e. dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down surfaces—can add up to about 98 calories. That’s like, one vodka soda or two Oreos. Obviously, you need to be going pretty hard on the vacuuming or dusting for it to be cardio levels, but just blast some Cardi B and rage clean until you feel yourself working up a sweat.
7. Park In The Back
Next time you’re heading anywhere (work, school, Target, the clerb), park as far off as you can (within reason and without putting yourself in some kind of danger). You’ll get a little extra distance in your day and may even work yourself up to cardio if you’re dealing with hills. If you’re really in the mood to up the ante, ride your bike to your destination or walk the whole way if you’re doing that city living thing.
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We’re living in a society that convinces us to drink apple cider vinegar to get skinny and delete Snapchat because Kylie Jenner isn’t feeling the new update. It’s a weird time to be alive, so let’s just pretend this whole perky butt fitness trend is normal. Everybody’s trying to get that butt lift look, whether it’s because your boyfriend stalks Kim Kardashian or you’re deep down a #bootygainz Instagram rabbit hole. If you can’t spend a million dollars on plastic surgery and you’re looking to do something about your tragically flat butt, stop Googling weird hacks and just do this workout. Do each move in the circuit and try to aim for 3-4 rounds total. And like, you’re welcome in advance if you can’t sit down tomorrow.
1. Goblet Squats
Goblet squats sound scary, but they’re just regular squats that you do while holding a kettlebell for added weight. You can also hold a dumbbell if you prefer. Stand holding a kettlebell at your chest (15-40 pounds) with the handle facing downward. Spread your legs to at least shoulder width, because the idea of this move is that it provides additional butt lift by shifting some of the work from your quads to your glutes. With your weight in your heels, squat down until your hips are at (or below) your knees, and remember to keep your chest and head up to avoid hurting your back. Pause for a second at the bottom, then come back up while squeezing your butt to activate your muscles. 10-12 reps should do it here, depending on the weight.
2. Cable Kickbacks
The cable machines might look intimidating if you usually stick to body weight or free weight movements, but I swear that it’s so easy to use and you’ll get the hang of it really fast. For cable kickbacks, you’ll need to make sure the head of the cable is a foot or two above the ground. Once you have it at the right height, put your right leg into the hook and adjust your weight (anywhere from 10-20 pounds should work). Holding onto the cable pole or anything stable in front of you, kick your leg leg backwards, squeezing your butt at the top. Then, slowly bring the leg back to the ground and repeat, switching legs once you’ve completed 10-12 reps. Also, if you feel these in your lower back, try doing them on your hands and knees instead. You can still get similar butt lift benefits.
3. TRX Lunge To Knee Raise
These can be done without a TRX as well, but holding onto the straps gives you additional support and ensures you’re isolating the glutes of the working leg. Holding onto the TRX strap, lunge backwards with one leg, bringing it to a 90 degree angle behind you. Then, bring the leg back up, raising your knee up until your waist, or higher if you’re super flexible. The brilliant idea is that you’re actually hitting two muscles at once by lunging back and then bringing the knee up. You’ll get more out of these if you go a little slower, so reduce your reps to 6-8 if you find them especially challenging. And, of course, don’t forget to do both legs.
4. Single Leg Bridges
Glute bridges are a classic butt lift exercise, and by raising one leg at a time, you can target your glute muscles even more by really focusing on each side. This also means that if both your butt cheeks aren’t sore AF tomorrow, you were totally working harder on one side. Lying on a mat, keep your hands at your sides and your knees bent out in front of you. Then, extend one leg as you lift your butt off the ground, squeezing your glutes and lifting your hips toward the ceiling. Think about pushing down with your left heel as you lift. Do 10 reps on one leg and then switch to the other.
5. Jump Squats
Jump squats are a plyometric movement, so they’re different than the slower reps you’ve been doing so far, but it’s been scientifically proven that you’ll get a better butt lift by combining high rep and low rep movements together in one workout. AKA, we’re obviously doing these even though they suck. Jump squats are exactly what they sound like, and you won’t need any weight for this move. Start in a bodyweight squat, keeping your chest high and your knees behind your ankles. Then, jump up explosively, straightening out your legs at the top, and landing back in your squat position. Your rep count doesn’t matter as much here, so try to just keep jumping for 30 seconds without rest.
6. Wall Sit
This last move will cause you to feel a slow, painful burn in your thighs and butt, so this is your chance to blast that aggressive Kanye song you save for the final sprint. It’s also the last exercise of the circuit, so don’t give up until it’s confirmed that you won’t be able to walk tomorrow. The idea here is simple. You have to find a wall and sit in a squat with your back against the wall and your hands out in front of you. Make sure you’re sitting low and don’t cheat yourself here. Try to hold for 45 seconds, or go for the full minute if you’re
psychotic ambitious. For an extra super awesome fun bonus challenge, try extending one leg for 10 seconds before switching to the other one.
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