The Best Fat-Blasting Cardio Exercises

The Best Fat-Blasting Cardio Exercises

Exercising hard enough to raise your heartbeat will burn major calories| but not everyone loves to run. Luckily| there are many ways to hit your cardio goals that don’t involve miles. These 43 cardio moves will help burn fat and build muscle| no running required. Find your new favorite ways to cardio here.

| Jumping Jacks

  • Jump your legs out as you bring your hands overhead| then jump back to standing.
  • Add in some cross jacks to work your inner thighs. Open your arms out to the sides as you jump your legs wide. Cross your feet as you jump your legs together while crossing your arms in front of your chest.

Related: No-Run Cardio Workout So You Can Skip Your Run

| Cross Jacks

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart| and extend your arms straight out to either side with palms facing down.
  • Jump and cross your right arm over your left and your right foot over your left. Jump your legs to the sides and open your arms| then cross with the opposite arm and foot.

| Ali Shuffle

  • Keeping your weight on the balls of your feet| scissor your legs front and back.
  • This is quick footwork| and it should be light and fast. Pump your arms to keep the speed of the feet up in tempo.

Related: Printable Workout: 20-Minute No-Running Cardio Blast

| High Knees

  • Run in place while lifting your knees high to the level of your waist. Engage your abs as the knee comes up.
  • Pump your arms to warm up your upper body.

| Hopscotch

  • Bouncing off the balls of your feet| jump your feet wide.
  • Hop back to center on your left foot| then jump your feet wide.
  • Hop back to center on your right foot| and continue alternating in this pattern.

| High-Knee Skips

Skipping isn’t just for little kids! it’s a great warmup exercise| especially if you will be jumping in your workout.

  • Skip in place by hopping on your right leg while bringing the left knee up toward your chest. Engage your abs as the knee comes toward your chest.
  • Switch legs| and keep skipping while pumping your arms.
  • Skip for 30 seconds.

Related: A One-and-Done Workout: Burn Calories and Build Strength

| Knees and Toes

  • Start with two high knees| bringing your right knee to your left hand| then your left knee to your right hand.
  • Now rotate your right knee slightly outward to bring your right ankle to your left hand| then your left ankle to your right hand.
  • Continue in this alternating pattern.

| Box Toe Touches

  • Using a box| step| book| or stool| lightly tap your left toes to the box| then jump to switch feet| bringing the right toes up.
  • Continue alternating feet. No box? No worries. Hop from foot to foot| aiming toes onto an imaginary step.

| Lateral Bunny Hop

  • Make small jumps side to side as if you are jumping over an invisible line.
  • Keep your legs as close together as possible| and swing your arms to help you jump.

Related: Burn Major Calories at Home With This Cardio Workout

| Side Shuffle With High-Knee Hold

  • Take small| quick steps to the side. Try to get in as many steps as possible in the width of your mat.
  • When you reach the edge of your mat| pause| bringing your inside knee up to waist level. This small pause works your abs and challenges your balance.

| Lateral Bounding

  • Start in a shallow squat with your weight on your right foot| and leap sideways as far as you can go to the left| landing on your left foot and bringing the right foot to the left. Immediately reverse directions and jump to the right.
  • Continue jumping side to side.

| Side Skater

  • Start in a small squat. Jump sideways to the right| landing on your right leg. Bring your left leg behind you| but don’t let your left foot touch the floor. Keeping your chest up| deepen the bend your in your right knee to work your glute muscles even more.
  • Reverse direction by jumping to the left leading with your left leg| allowing your arms to swing to the sides as you jump sideways| landing on your right foot. This completes one rep.

Related: Mix Jumping Rope With Strength Training in This 20-Minute Workout

| Alternating Lateral Lunge

  • Start with your feet directly under your hips. Step your right foot wide to the side| coming into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Your right knee shouldn’t go beyond your right toes.
  • Push into your right foot to return to standing| then lunge sideways to the left to complete one rep.

| Reverse Lunge and Kick

This is a great move for warming up the entire body. It’s a dynamic stretch for both the hip flexors and the hamstrings.

  • Step back with your left foot| coming into a deep lunge and bending both knees to 90 degrees.
  • Press the right heel into the ground as you push off with your left foot| kicking your left leg to touch your left toes to your right hand.
  • With control| return to the lunge position. This completes one rep.
  • Do 15 reps on each leg.

| Reverse Lunge and Hop

  • Come into a lunge with your right leg back. Swing your right leg forward to hop up on your left foot| and land softly back in a lunge.

| Split Lunge Jumps

Great for shaping the legs and butt| jumping lunges can sometimes be intense on the knees. Hopping your feet together before switching sides decreases the impact on the knees.

  • Stand with your feet together and your knees soft. Jump and come into a lunge with your left leg forward.
  • Push off with both feet| jumping them together| then hopping into a lunge with your right leg in front.
  • Jump your feet back together to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps to complete a set.

| Squat and Reach

Adding an overhead reach to a squat challenges the core while engaging and toning the upper back.

  • Begin with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Keeping your weight in your heels| and sit back into your deep squat. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes.
  • Holding your squat| raise both of your arms overhead. Hold this position for a moment| then return to standing while lowering your arms to your sides. This completes one rep.
  • Do 15 reps.

| Squat Jump

  • Start in a squat with your arms by your sides.
  • Swing your arms to the ceiling| and jump.
  • Land quietly as you return to the squat position. This completes one rep.

| Jump Squat With Heel Click

We love that this combo activates the inner thighs while working the butt and quads.

  • Begin with the feet slightly wider than your hips| bend your knees| and keeping your weight in your heels| squat.
  • Jump up as high as you can| and bring your feet together so they touch.
  • Land quietly back into a squat. This makes for one rep.
  • Do 15 reps.

| 180 Jump Squat

Adding a half turn to the jump squat is not only fun| but also it requires extra coordination and provides more core work.

  • Start in a deep squat with your legs a bit wider than your hips and your toes pointed outward. Twist your torso to the right| reaching your right hand to the ceiling and your left hand toward the floor.
  • Jump up| spinning to the left 180 degrees (halfway around)| bringing both hands overhead. Land softly in a deep squat| twisting your torso to the left with the left hand reaching toward the ceiling and the right hand toward the floor. This completes one rep.
  • Repeat| but reverse directions so you jump| spinning to the right and going back the way you came.
  • Do 20 reps| alternating sides.

| Burpees

  • Lower into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor.
  • Do a squat thrust by jumping your feet back into a plank position.
  • Do one basic push-up| bending the elbows and then straightening back to a plank.
  • Jump the feet forward to the hands| and come into a squat.
  • Do an explosive jump straight up| getting as much height as you can.

| Sumo Squat and Punch

  • Come into a wide sumo squat; punch to the left then right.
  • Return to standing and repeat.

| Sumo Squat and Side Crunch

  • Start in a wide stance with your toes pointed out; bring your hands behind your head with your elbows wide.
  • Bend your knees over your toes| coming into a squat with your thighs almost parallel to the floor.
  • As you straighten your knees to stand| lift your right knee while bending to the right to bring your right elbow and knee together| doing a side crunch.
  • Straighten your spine as you bring your right foot to the floor| and bend both knees| coming into a sumo squat. This completes one rep.

| Gate Swings

  • Jump your feet wide to the sides with toes pointed outward| bringing hands to knees to increase the stretch of the inner thighs.
  • Jump your legs together| crossing your feet.

| Single-Leg Touch and Hop

  • Begin standing with your weight on your left foot. Keeping your back long| bend your left knee to touch the floor with your right fingers.
  • Swing your right leg and left arm forward to return to standing| hopping once the torso is upright. Land with control| then slowly lower your torso| and bend your knee to touch the floor again.

| Leg Balance Warrior 3

This exercise fires up your core by challenging your balance. As you move in and out of the pose| you will be working the back of your body| too.

  • Stand on your left foot with your right leg lifted to 90 degrees and your right knee bent.
  • Reach your torso forward as you lengthen your right leg behind you. Reach your arms overhead for balance as your torso and leg come parallel to the floor. Keep your left knee slightly bent.
  • Hold this position for a moment| and reach through your right heel to engage the back of the right leg.
  • Moving in one piece| bring your right leg forward| and return to standing upright. This completes one rep.
  • Do 10 reps| then switch sides.

| Woodchop

  • Begin with arms up to the left| allowing the right foot to pivot as needed.
  • Slice your arms diagonally across your body| pivoting on your left foot.
  • Switch sides after 30 seconds.

| Frogger

  • Begin in a plank position. Jump your feet to the outside of your hands| coming into a deep squat and keeping your hands on the floor.
  • Jump your feet back to a plank.

| Plank Jacks

  • Begin in the plank position| with your shoulders over your wrists| your body in one straight line| and your feet together.
  • Like the motion of jumping jacks| jump your legs wide apart| and then back together to complete a rep. Jump as quickly as you want| but keep your pelvis steady and don’t let your booty rise toward the ceiling.
  • Do a total of 20 reps to complete a set.

| Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a traditional plank u2014 shoulders over hands and weight in your toes.
  • With your core engaged| bring your right knee forward under your chest| with the toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs| bringing the left knee forward.
  • Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
  • Continue “running”” in your plank for one minute.
  • If you need a break| take a Downward Facing Dog for three breaths| then do five to 10 Cat-to-Cow poses.

| Up-Down Plank

  • Begin in a full plank. Lower your right elbow to the mat and then your left| coming into an elbow plank.
  • Put your right hand on the mat| and straighten your right elbow. Do the same on the left to return to a full plank.

| Plank With Creepy Crawler

Bringing the knee toward your elbow while holding the plank is an effective way to work the obliques and tone your muffin top.

  • In a plank position| bring your left knee to your left elbow. Then return the left leg back to the plank position. Repeat this action on the right side to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps to complete a set.

| Lateral Plank Walk

  • Begin in the plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your body in one straight line.
  • Simultaneously cross your right hand toward the left as you step your left foot out to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left| returning to the plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart. Take two more steps in this direction| keeping your abs pulled toward your spine and your pelvis level. This completes one rep.
  • Reverse directions| taking three steps the right.
  • Do 15 reps in each direction to complete one set.
Source: POPSUGAR Studios

| Plank With Alternating Shoulder and Knee Tap

This plank variation works the entire body!

  • Begin in a plank variation with your feet slightly wider than your hips.
  • Bring your right hand to your left shoulder| then place that hand back on the mat. Bring your left hand to your right shoulder and return it to the mat.
  • Bring your right knee and your left hand toward one another under your body. Return to a plank| and switch sides so your left knee meets your right hand.
  • This competes one rep. Do 10 reps total.

| Plank With Bunny Hop

  • Begin in a plank position with your feet touching.
  • Pull your abs in| and jump your feet to the right| bringing your knees toward your right elbow. Your torso will twist to the right.
  • Jump your feet back to plank| to complete one rep.
  • Repeat on the other side| and continue alternating sides for 20 reps total.

| Elbow Plank With Knee Drive

  • Start in an elbow plank| and bring your right knee into your nose; your pelvis will rise toward the ceiling. Place right foot back on the ground.
  • Alternate sides| bringing your left knee in.

| Push-Up and Rotate

  • From a plank position| perform a push-up. At the top of the push-up| rotate to the left| coming into a side plank and reaching the right arm to the ceiling.
  • Return to the plank position| do another push-up| and rotate into a side plank on the right.

| Asymmetrical Push-Up

The different hand positions work different muscles in the chest and arms. Do try to catch a little air as you move your hands from side to side to work toward a plyometric push-up.

  • Start in a plank on your knees. Move your left hand out to the side| then bend both elbows| lowering your torso toward the mat. Straighten your arms to return to a plank. This completes one rep.
  • Switch your hands| bringing in the left hand while stepping the right hand wide u2014 this is where you should try to jump off your hands. Perform a push-up.
  • Continue alternating side to side for 10 reps.

| Oblique V-Crunch

Take the V-sit and put it on its side to target the obliques; you’re going to love this variation.

  • Lie on your right side| with your left hand behind your head and your right hand on the floor.
  • Press down into your right hand as you raise your straight legs off the floor| bringing your torso toward your legs.
  • Lower yourself back to the floor with control. This completes one rep.
  • Do eight reps| then switch sides.

| V Crunch

Work your upper and lower abs with one highly effective move.

  • Lying on your back| lift your legs and arms up so they are extended toward the ceiling. Lift your upper back off the floor| reaching your hands toward your feet.
  • Lower your legs toward the floor while reaching your arms overhead| keeping your shoulders off the mat and lower back pressed into the ground.
  • Repeat the crunch motion to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps.

| Pilates Scissors

  • Lie on your back| and lift your upper body off the floor so your shoulder blades hover.
  • Lift your right leg off the floor| and bring your left leg to 90 degrees| gently holding the left shin. Keep your upper body lifted as you switch or scissor your legs.

| Reverse Plank Bridge

This move is the ultimate booty burner| and it works the triceps nicely too.

  • Begin seated with your hands behind you and with your fingers pointed away from you.
  • Press the heels of your feet and the palms of your hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
  • Lower your pelvis back to the ground to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps.

| Breakdancer Kick

  • Start on all fours| then lift your knees to hover over the floor.
  • Lift your left hand and your right foot off the floor then| then pivot on your left foot to the left kicking your right leg through bringing your left arm to your chest.
  • Swing your pelvis back and place your left hand on the floor and your right toes| returning to the hover position. Reverse directions kicking the left leg to the opposite side.

The Lower-Body Exercise to Lift Your Butt and Tone Your Thighs

This move is tough, but let me tell you, it is so worth the sweat and struggle. A set of surrenders strengthens your legs, tones your butt, and works your core. It also keeps your heart rate up as you go from kneeling to standing over and over again. You guys! Changing levels takes a lot of effort.

Before attempting this move, find some padding for your knees. I like to fold my yoga mat in half to double the cushion.

Stand with your hands behind your head with your elbows wide, and bring your right knee gently to the ground.Bring your left knee down so you are kneeling. Keep your chest up and squeeze your glutes to keep yourself stable.Lift your right foot up and place it in front of you. Bring the left foot forward to stand up, pressing through your right heel.This completes one rep. Start the next by bringing your left knee to the floor.Do two to three sets of 12 reps each.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

The Lower-Body Exercise to Lift Your Butt and Tone Your Thighs

This move is tough| but let me tell you| it is so worth the sweat and struggle. A set of surrenders strengthens your legs| tones your butt| and works your core. It also keeps your heart rate up as you go from kneeling to standing over and over again. You guys! Changing levels takes a lot of effort.

Before attempting this move| find some padding for your knees. I like to fold my yoga mat in half to double the cushion.

Stand with your hands behind your head with your elbows wide| and bring your right knee gently to the ground.Bring your left knee down so you are kneeling. Keep your chest up and squeeze your glutes to keep yourself stable.Lift your right foot up and place it in front of you. Bring the left foot forward to stand up| pressing through your right heel.This completes one rep. Start the next by bringing your left knee to the floor.Do two to three sets of 12 reps each.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This Exercise Gets You Sore in All the Right Places

I am always pleasantly surprised how sore my butt is when I add this simple move, which combines a sumo squat with a standing side crunch, to any workout. This bodyweight exercise is not a plyometric move, but springing up from a deep sumo squat to stand on one leg is really effective for activating the glute muscles. And adding the side crunch works the abs nicely too. And these are two areas of my body I always like to work.

Start in a wide stance with your toes pointed out; bring your hands behind your head with your elbows wide.Keeping your chest upright and lifted, bend your knees over your toes, coming into a wide sumo squat with your thighs almost parallel to the floor. Push off both legs, but shift your weight into your left foot so you can lift your right knee up. Bring your right elbow to your right knee to perform a side crunch. Hold this position for a second to test your balance and ensure you are not relying on momentum and are really using the muscles to control your limbs and create this slightly awkward shape. Straighten your spine as you bring your right foot quietly to the floor, and bend both knees coming into a sumo squat. This completes one rep. Repeat the move on the other side.One set consists of 20 reps, alternating sides. Aim to do two to three sets.

Since this move requires no weight, you can really do it anywhere or anytime.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This Exercise Gets You Sore in All the Right Places

I am always pleasantly surprised how sore my butt is when I add this simple move| which combines a sumo squat with a standing side crunch| to any workout. This bodyweight exercise is not a plyometric move| but springing up from a deep sumo squat to stand on one leg is really effective for activating the glute muscles. And adding the side crunch works the abs nicely too. And these are two areas of my body I always like to work.

Start in a wide stance with your toes pointed out; bring your hands behind your head with your elbows wide.Keeping your chest upright and lifted| bend your knees over your toes| coming into a wide sumo squat with your thighs almost parallel to the floor. Push off both legs| but shift your weight into your left foot so you can lift your right knee up. Bring your right elbow to your right knee to perform a side crunch. Hold this position for a second to test your balance and ensure you are not relying on momentum and are really using the muscles to control your limbs and create this slightly awkward shape. Straighten your spine as you bring your right foot quietly to the floor| and bend both knees coming into a sumo squat. This completes one rep. Repeat the move on the other side.One set consists of 20 reps| alternating sides. Aim to do two to three sets.

Since this move requires no weight| you can really do it anywhere or anytime.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

If You Do 1 Workout, It Better Be This

If You Do 1 Workout| It Better Be This

Build muscle and blast calories with this effective bodyweight workout. And it’s excuse-proof| too| because you can do it anywhere since it requires no equipment at all. The workout should take you around 20 minutes| so get moving!

Directions: Warm up with five minutes of light cardio| then repeat each three-exercise circuit three times. Start with 10 reps of each exercise| building up to 15 reps of each move as you get stronger.

Here’s a printable version of this workout. Now you really have no excuses!

| Reverse Lunge and Kick

This is a great move for warming up the entire body. It’s a dynamic stretch for both the hip flexors and the hamstrings.

  • Step back with your left foot coming into a deep lunge bending both knees to 90 degrees.
  • Press the right heel into the ground as you push off with your left foot| kicking your left leg to touch your left toes to your right hand.
  • With control| return to the lunge position. This completes one rep.
  • Do 15 reps on each leg.

| Single-Leg Forward Reach

Similar to yoga’s Warrior 3| this exercise fires up your core by challenging your balance. As you move in and out of the pose| you will be working the back of your body too.

  • Stand with all your weight in your left foot| abs engaged and chest lifted.
  • Reach your torso forward as you lift your right leg behind you. Reach your arms overhead for balance as your torso and leg come parallel to the floor.
  • Hold this position for a moment| and reach through your right heel to engage the back of the right leg.
  • Moving in one piece| lower your right leg toward the floor as you return to standing upright| resting the right foot lightly on the ground. This completes one rep.
  • Do 15 reps before switching sides.

| Squat and Reach

Adding an overhead reach to a squat challenges the core while engaging and toning the upper back.

  • Begin with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Keeping your weight in your heels| and sit back into your deep squat. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes.
  • Holding your squat| raise both of your arms overhead. Hold this position for a moment| then return to standing while lowering your arms to your sides. This completes one rep.
  • Do 15 reps.

| Lateral Plank Walk

This move will challenge your core and define your deltoids| shaping your shoulders.

  • Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders| and your body in one straight line.
  • Simultaneously cross your right hand toward the left as you step your left foot out to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left| returning to the plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart. Take two more steps in this direction| keeping your abs pulled toward your spine and your pelvis level. This completes one rep.
  • Reverse directions taking three steps the right.
  • Do 15 reps in each direction to complete one set.

| Push-Up and Rotate

Add a twist to your basic push-up to work your waist even more u2014 rotation never felt so good.

  • Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips.
  • Lower your body toward the floor| then push through your arms returning to plank.
  • Twist to the left| reaching your left arm to the ceiling without letting your pelvis raise or lower.
  • Return to plank position| bringing your hand back to the floor. Complete another push-up and twist to the right. This completes one rep| and 15 reps completes a set.

| Reverse Plank Bridge

This move is the ultimate booty burner| and it gets the triceps nicely too.

  • Begin seated with your hands behind you with your fingers pointed away from you.
  • Press the heels of your feet and hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
  • Lower your pelvis back to the ground to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps.

| Scarecrow With Back Lunge

Holding a lunge tones the leg| while the scarecrow motion works small muscles that support the shoulder joint| which are known collectively as the rotator cuff.

  • Step your left leg back into a deep lunge| making 90-degree angles with both knees.
  • Raise your arms out to the side until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees making a loose fist with your hands.
  • Hold the lunge while as you rotate your upper arms forward to bring your fists to the floor; then rotate the upper arm backward to bring the fists up. Do not lower or raise your upper arms; keep them parallel to the floor. This complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps| then lunge with your left leg back for 15 more reps to complete a set.

| Single-Leg Balance Touch

This exercise really works the deep glutes while challenging your core and sense of balance.

  • Begin standing with arms overhead with all your weight on your left foot.
  • Keeping your spine long| reach forward bending your left knee| and touch both hands to the ground. Keep your abs engaged to keep your torso stable.
  • Lower your right leg down while lifting your torso| bringing your arms overhead to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps on each side.

| Plank With Creepy Crawler

Bringing the knee toward your elbow while holding the plank is an effective way to work the obliques and tone your muffin top.

  • In a plank position| bring your left knee to your left elbow; then return the left leg back to plank position. Repeat this action on the right side to complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps to complete a set.