Has cardio become a bit boring for you and do you need some change? How about a cardio circuit training routine to freshen things up a bit?
Interval Walking And Circuits
Whenever possible, I prefer to do my cardio outside. I think it’s very soothing, as fresh air and nature have an amazing impact on our mind. But when you do this year in, year out, it can get old as well. Therefore let me show you a little program I like to throw in from time to time that provides a change of pace (quite literally).
What I’m going to share with you ts not just basic walking, it’s more of an “interval walking”, combining cardio with strength exercises. As we do the same exercises one after another and then repeat the process, this is also called a “circuit training”.
Preferably I try to pick a place for it that has a lot of hills, as it gives me some challenge while helping to shape up legs and glutes, but for the beginning you can also do it somewhere a bit more flat.
To make it a whole body experience, remember to keep your core muscles tight, the shoulders back, and to always use your arms, keeping them tight as well. We want your whole body engaged, so don’t just flap around to get it over with. Also breathe deep, engage your mind and focus on visualizing your results. This too is part of the program, as the mind-body connection is very important in helping you see results. If you learn to connect with your mind while exercising, the whole experience will be much more rewarding.
The Circuit Training
The session is only 30 minutes long, so you can do it on day separate from your strength training or, if you do decide to do it on the day of your strength training, then you can cut down 10 minutes. On those days you may have already worked on your legs and asking more of them can be pointless.
As with any working out, warming up is crucial, so you start out with five minutes of regular walking, which will increase blood flow to the muscles and get your body for the exercise. Don’t skip this part! Warm-up is crucial in any workout, period.
After the warm-up you will be doing:
- 1 minute of walking lunges. Make sure you take good wide steps forward and bring your knee close to the ground.
- 1 minute of very fast pace walking, using wide steps. While walking squeeze your glutes with every step.
- 1 minute of side step squats to the right side.
- 1 minute of fast pace walking as above.
- 1 minute of side step squats to the left side.
This whole circuit adds up to five minutes and you repeat it four times.
Cooldown And Stretching
After that you proceed with five more minutes of regular walking as a cool down. Finally make sure you don’t forget to stretch afterwards. Do you really need to stretch? Yes, you absolutely need to stretch. It not only helps relieving tension from your muscles, but also aids your muscles in their recovery efforts.
Picture courtesy of “lululemon athletica“.