33 Cardio-Based Bodyweight Exercises

Fact: You can get a great cardio workout without having to run miles on a treadmill or spend time on a rowing machine. These bodyweight-only moves are mostly low impact, meaning you can do them in the comfort of your own living room without worrying about annoying the neighbors downstairs.

We tapped certified trainer and Barry’s Bootcamp instructor, to show us some of his favorite heart-pumping exercises. You can create your own routine by following our guidelines– or try his workout at the end of the article. Either way, you’ll be burning fat and upping your cardiovascular endurance– win-win!

How to Use This List

Create your own workout:

Pick 3 or 4 moves from the list below and add them to any workout. Do the moves between strength training exercises as an active rest or add them on to the start of a run or other cardio routine. Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds and complete 2 to 3 rounds.

Try our workout: Skip the guesswork and scroll to the end to do Greenwell’s workout.

Beginner

1. Inchworm

Stand with feet hip width and core tight. Bend from the waist, place hands on the ground, and walk hands forward, keeping legs straight. Quickly walk hands back toward feet and stand when you arrive in a high plank.

Make it harder: Add a push-up when you are in the high plank position.

2. Power Skip

Raise right knee up as you bring left arm forward and hop off left foot. Land on the ball of your left foot then immediately bring right foot down and repeat on the other side.

3. Uppercut

Stand in a split stance with right foot one step ahead of left foot and hips squared (facing forward). With right hand, punch up and to the left with a scooping motion.

4. Mountain Climber Twist

From a high plank position with core tight, run left knee in toward right elbow, then right knee in toward left elbow. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible without hiking hips.

Make it easier: Run knees straight in toward chest rather than twisting.

5. High Knees

Stand with your feet hip width and run in place by pulling right knee up toward chest, then left knee up toward chest. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible.

Make it easier: If running isn’t part of your game plan, perform this move as a march, using your core to pull your knee toward your chest.

6. Punch

Start in the same split stance that you used for uppercuts, with right foot one step ahead of left foot. Punch forward with left hand, slightly rotating torso as you do.

7. Plank Jacks

From a high plank position, with core tight, jump feet apart then jump them back together. Repeat as quickly as possible while trying to maintain level hips.

8. Butt Kick

Run in place kicking heels toward glutes. Swing arms at side or allow them to rest against butt so that heels kick palms. Make sure the movement is being driven from your hamstrings (not your feet kicking up dust).

9. Fast Feet Shuffle

 

With feet wider than hip width, bend knees slightly, sending hips back and keeping core tight. Shuffle feet to the right for 4 paces (or for as much space as you have), then shuffle back the other way. Stay low and make your feet move as quickly as possible to get the most out of this exercise.

10. Plank-to-Knee Tap

Start with feet together, hands at sides, core engaged. Keep knees bent as you jump feet back together and bring arms down.

From a high plank position with core engaged, shift back and pike hips as you lift right hand to tap left shin (or ankle if you’re extra flexible!). Return to high plank position and repeat on the other side. Move through the exercise as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.
11. Jumping Jack

12. Vertical Jump

Stand with a slight bend in the feet and knees hip width. As you swing arms forward, jump up, extending arms overhead.

13. Skaters

Jump to the right with right foot, landing lightly on the ball of your right foot and sweeping left foot behind right leg. Immediately jump to the left with left foot, allowing right foot to sweep behind left leg.

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Intermediate

14. Long Jump With Jog Back

Stand with feet hip width and a slight bend in knees. Swing both arms back and bend a little deeper, then swing arms forward and jump forward as far as possible with both feet, landing lightly on the balls of your feet. Now, as quickly as possible, jog backward to starting place and repeat.

15. Tuck Jump

It’s time to catch some air. Stand with knees slightly bent and jump up, bringing knees to chest and extending arms out straight in front of chest. Lower arms as you land lightly on the floor.

16. Corkscrew

From a high plank position with core tight, shift weight onto left hand, lift right hand off ground, then rotate to the right and kick left foot out to the. Tap left foot with right hand. Repeat on the other side moving as quickly as possible.

17. Diver’s Push-Up

Start in a down dog position with hands on the ground, hips high in the air, and feet on the ground so you form a triangle shape. In a fluid motion, dive head toward the floor, coming into a low push-up position, and then swoop chest forward and up so you end in an upward dog position.

18. Wide Mountain Climbers

Make it easier: Skip the hop. Instead, step right foot back then quickly step left foot forward.

From a high plank position with core tight, bring right foot forward to the outside of right hand so you are in a low lunge position. Jump and switch feet in midair so that you land with your left foot to the outside of your left hand with your right foot straight back. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible.

19. Invisible Jump Rope

Hop over an invisible rope (no need to jump more than 1 or 2 inches off the ground) by staying on your toes and pushing off with the balls of your feet. Make quick, small movements with your wrists as if you’re holding a rope.

20. 3 Hops to Push-Up

Stand on right foot with left foot core and elevated tight. Do 3 push-ups, never putting left foot down.

21. Step-Up

Place right foot on the bench and, using glutes, push up so right leg is left and straight foot is off the ground. Slowly lower, allowing left foot then right foot to come down to the ground.

22. Classic Burpee

 

Stand with feet hip width and core tight. Jump up then immediately drop to the floor, placing hands on the ground and shooting feet back so you’re in a high plank position. Quickly jump feet back to hands and, in one movement, jump and stand up to complete 1 rep.

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23. Make it harder:

Jump in a box formation: forward, side, back, side, then switch directions before hopping on the other side.

Stand on right leg, lift left foot off ground, and brace core. Jump forward 3 to 5 times, each time landing lightly on the ball of your foot. Switch feet and jump back to start.

24. Runner’s Skip

In one smooth movement, bring left foot forward and, as you stand on right foot, continue to lift left knee toward chest and hop up on right foot. Land lightly on right foot and immediately slide left foot behind you to return to starting position.

25. Flutter Kick

You can slide both hands under the curve of low back for added support. Using your core, lift both feet 3 to 4 inches off the ground and kick feet up and down several inches, keeping core engaged throughout.

26. Sprinter Sit-Ups

Start in a seated position with legs extended in front of you and arms bent to 90-degree angles (think robot). Lean back slightly as you lift right leg with right knee bent and bring left elbow to right knee, engaging obliques as you twist upper torso to the. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.

Advanced

27. Squat Jump

As you come up, jump up, extending legs fully and pushing arms down to help with your momentum. Greenwell suggests holding hands behind head (as shown), which helps to keep chest open and posture straight.

28. Plyometric Push-Up

Master a perfect push-up before attempting this move. Do a perfect push-up, but as you push up, push even harder so that both hands come off the ground and you can clap hands together before landing in a high plank again.

29. Tricep Push-Up With Mountain Climber

Start in a high plank position with core tight. Now push back up onto hands at the same time to return to starting position. Finish by drawing right knee into chest, then left knee into chest, doing a mountain climber.

Make it easier: Lower and push back up one arm at a time, rather than both arms at once. You could also perform a push-up on your knees then lift knees to do the mountain climber.

30. Box Jump

If you’ve never attempted box jumps, start with a box that is mid-calf height and progress to higher heights from there. Stand in front of box with feet shoulder-width apart. Step down one foot at a time and repeat.

31. Donkey Kick

From a high plank position with core tight and hips level, jump feet up and kick butt with heels. Your weight should come forward onto hands, but shoulders should stay in line over wrists. Extend legs and land lightly on toes to return to starting position.

32. Lateral Jump

Shift weight to left foot then jump over the bench first with right foot, allowing the left foot to follow. Land lightly on right foot first then left foot.

33. Jumping Lunges

Jump to the right with right foot, landing lightly on the ball of your right foot and sweeping left foot behind right leg. Jump and switch feet in midair so that you land with your left foot to the outside of your left hand with your right foot straight back. In one smooth movement, bring left foot forward and, as you stand on right foot, continue to lift left knee toward chest and hop up on right foot. Shift weight to left foot then jump over the bench first with right foot, allowing the left foot to follow. Now jump up, switching feet in middair so you land with left foot ahead of right foot and immediately drop into a low lunge on the other side.

With right foot ahead of left foot and core tight, drop into a low lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Now jump up, switching feet in middair so you land with left foot ahead of right foot and immediately drop into a low lunge on the other side.

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