If You Don't Like Running, Try This 25-Minute Low-Impact Intense Cardio and Ab Workout
Some days we have all the motivation in the world to train hard, and then our sore muscles remind us to chill out. That's what happened to me the other week. I was super sore from a week of solid training — it hurt to stretch my arms above head, and every muscle below my belly button was screaming at me.
I knew another leg day would be pointless, and I wasn't even going to consider doing another upper-body workout. Instead, I decided on cardio, but a "fun" type of cardio. I had two goals for the cardio workout: I wanted it to be quick, and I wanted it to be conditioning. Not going to lie, this workout is challenging (and feels a lot worse when you're sore), but you'll be happy you did it.
If you're a beginner, feel free to modify this workout as needed; I've included my suggestions for modifications. It shouldn't take more than 25 minutes to do, and you should be exhausted once it's done. Now, it's time to get your heart rate up!
The Cardio and Ab Workout
Equipment needed: You'll need a soft-shelled medicine ball — six to 10 pounds is a good starting point. You'll also need to be near a SkiErg Machine and an assault bike. If your gym doesn't have either, substitute the SkiErg with the row machine and the assault bike with the StairMaster.
Before starting the workout, make sure to warm up. Here's a dynamic warmup I like. Don't forget to do a few core-activating exercises before getting started as well. Beginners should complete two rounds, and intermediate/advanced levels should complete three rounds. Be sure to cool down after your workout.
- SkiErg: 30 seconds for beginners; 45 seconds for those at an intermediate or advanced level
- Seated knee tuck: 20 reps (beginners can do the dead bug exercise for 10 reps)
- Side plank with hip dip: 12 reps each side (beginners can hold a side bridge or a side plank for 15 seconds)
- Assault bike: beginners should burn six calories; intermediate/advanced levels should burn 10 calories
- High knees: 20 reps for beginners; 30 reps for intermediate/advanced levels
- Rotational medicine ball slam and toss: 10 reps each direction (beginners should do 10 reps of standard ball slams)