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Cardio Adding intensity to workouts

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When regular cardio gets too boring for you, or when you want to burn some more calories in one cardio workout, then spice up your workouts with more intensity! Tricks below!

The key to making low impact exercise work is to work a little harder by involving your entire body in what you’re doing. Try some of these ideas for making your workouts more intense:

  • Add upper body movements. Upper body moves can contribute to your overall intensity so think of swinging your arms when you walk, raising the arms overhead during step or other types of aerobics or choosing machines at the gym with upper body options like a cross-country ski machine or elliptical trainer.
  • Go Faster. Picking up the pace, whether you’re walking, cycling or ellipticalling is another way to make your workouts a little tougher.
  • Use big movements. Another way to add intensity is to use big, exaggerated movements. For example, if you were marching in place, you could make the move harder by bringing the knees up high and circling the arms overhead.
  • Involve the lower body. Most cardio activities do involve the lower body, but you can add intensity without impact by doing things like squats or lunges to really get the legs involved. Add walking lunges or side steps with squats to your usual walking workout to increase intensity.

Add Power to Your Cardio Workouts

If you want to burn more calories while improving your strength, speed and power, why not add a little power to your workouts? Athletes use power moves, or plyometric exercises, to help them jump higher, last longer and protect them from injury. But you don’t have to train like an athlete to get the benefits of power training.

  • Jumping. Adding different types of jumps to your workout can really crank up your heart rate. Try jumping straight up and landing in a slight squat, jumping forward with both feet in a long jump or jumping up onto a step or platform with both feet at a time.
  • One-Legged Jumps. Jumping with both feet can be very challenging, but try it with one leg and you’ll experience a whole different kind of challenge. Try hopping across the room, jumping onto a step or just jumping up and down on one leg.

Keep the move slow and explosive.

  • Power Squats. Another way to add power is by doing slow power squats. Jump up and land in a wide squat as low as you can. In an explosive movement, jump the feet back together.
  • Power Lunges. You can do the same thing with lunges (these are tough!). Just lower down into a lunge and jump up, switch legs in the air, and land in a lunge.

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