Are you tired of your boring cardio workouts that involves static, soulless movements, and that make you feel like you just want to get over with them? Yeah? So we both agree on the fact that cardio workouts can and SHOULD be fun!
Today I’m giving you my top 4 funniest cardio alternatives, so you can have lots of fun cardio workouts choices at your disposal while you blast calories, and why not—do something useful at the same time.
Let the fun begin!
1) Wood Chop-Chopping
With this one you can have boatloads of fun, and you’ll sweat like a running pig while stacking up some good wood for the winter, you kill two birds with one stone!
This can act as a strength building\toning activity as well if you do it with enough vigor behind each blow (I mean, just have a look at lumberjacks), so you get the best of both worlds, cardio & muscle building, plus… you can direct your pent up anger against those damned logs, ARGH!
Just be sure to learn the technique properly and take all the necessary precautions in order to avoid injuries, THEN keep the chopping going and chop wood for 25/30 minutes, use the time for replacing the wood as rest.
2) Martial Arts
Yeah yeah, I know I always mention martial arts in my posts but what can I do? I’m a martial artist after all, and they’re an amazing, funny way to get that cardio in. I mean, look at martial artists, they’re fu**ing shredded! I don’t think you need more evidence.
And the beautiful thing is that you can choose from a wide selection of martial arts: Kung Fu, Karate, Boxing, Capoeira, Taekwondo, MMA…the list goes on and on and on, you name it!
If you’re in a dilemma though consider yourself lucky, because I have ready a martial arts inspired workout you can use right now to have some fun and get your cardio over with. Or you can always do your own thing, whatever! (The good thing is that I got you covered either way)
[Warm Up] Shadowboxing [x10 min]
Dumbbell jabs (light) 2mins – [repeat x4]
Roundhouse kicks x40 [Each side]
Alternating Mountain Climbers x1 min – (AS FAST AS YOU CAN) [repeat twice]
Horse stance (whichever version you can do) TO FAILURE, [repeat x2]
*BONUS* Add alt. punches to horse stance & drop to a very low stance for a real challenge
3) Sprint, Sprint, Sprint!!!
This cardio alternatives list won’t be complete without sprints. You can have tons of fun with sprints, and they are, without a doubt THE KING of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT, & cardio) exercises, period. I mean, feeling the wind in your hair, the speed and the blood rushing like crazy through your body is pretty fun by my standards.
And guess what, they even act as a muscle building exercise since they recruit fast-twitching muscle fibers you won’t otherwise engage in your usual activities, by taking your muscles in a state of hypertrophy, which is ideal when trying to build muscle, especially in your hamstrings and glutes zone, but it does activate a lot your abdominal muscles as well. Sprints are excellent when trying to lose fat, if you incorporate them in your routines you will quickly become a super lean mofo.
There are lots of Sprints, for every taste ladies and gentlemen! Each unique in their own accord:
- Standard Sprints – The vanilla flavor. But you can bet on their effectiveness.
- Sand Sprints – Chocolate, they’re twice as harder than the standard.
- Lava Sprints – I don’t really advice you to try them out.
- Hill\Uphill Sprints – If you’re a madman and want to blast those calories.
- Weighted Sprints – Just add some ankle weights and be harder on yourself.
- Water Sprints – These can be paired with the sand ones, but sprinting against the resistance of water AND sand is a whole another level.
You can use this tempo for pretty much every one of this kind of sprints: Sprint at your maximum speed for 30 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds, repeat for a total of 8-10 sets. If you’re a beginner you can rest a bit longer, as long as you put your maximum effort in the sprints every time.
Sprinting can also be considered a mental strength exercise since they’re not easy on you and can really push you to the limit, so as a byproduct you’ll come out a more resilient individual.
Hiking is another great entry on this cardio workout alternatives list that I HAD TO include because is so amazing yet so underrated of an activity, which holds a treasure of health benefits and is tons of fun! some of these benefits:
Health Benefits For The Body & Mind
Since a good hike is indeed a solid cardio workout it comes with a plethora of health benefits exactly as our previously mentioned friends- the sprints, so hiking can
- Strengthen your core – By walking on irregular and impervious surfaces you’ll be engaging your abs the whole time, not only because of the hard terrain you’ll be hiking on but even because while in the mountains you’ll be constantly challenging gravity as you move upwards and be facing challenging slopes.
- Keeps your blood pressure in check – As all type of cardiovascular exercises do, hiking can help you if you have blood pressure problems, and by extent is great for your heart.
- Be a powerful ally against stress & anxiety – Managing one’s stress has become an imperative thing in our frenetic society, spending time hiking in nature and reconnecting with one’s own inner peace can truly save people’s lives, and this particular study from Cornell University proves this.
- Make your lower body stronger – Well what did you expect? To hike with your hands? Of course your lower body is going to get RIPPED if you walk for a day in the mountains, the amazing thing is that it will work even the minor muscles\parts of your lower body like your feet, fingers, glutes ecc… so it’s an amazing way to get that leg day in, but amped up! Go for a hike if you want those strong, burly mountaneer legs.
Using hiking as cardio is fairly simple: just be sure you know where you’re going to hike to, wear sturdy, breathable clothes made for hiking and take a full day off to hike – FULL DAY OF HIKING CARDIO, and remember to enjoy yourself and nature, hell you can even bring a buddy along to make it double the fun!
You can vary the intensity of the hike by changing your hiking pace or by preferring harder trails.
So, what do you think of these fun cardio alternatives? Do you already engage in some of the activities that I’ve mentioned? I’d love to get your feedback. You can even share this post with friends and family if they’re looking to become more active in a funny and seamless way!