Many people are under the impression that cardiovascular training means ‘running on a treadmill’ or ‘riding a bike’ and they might not realize just how many other forms of CV there are. I’m not going to go into tonnes of detail here, but suffice to say that just like weight lifting it’s not about how you train, just the results that you get. Just like your sole focus should be getting your biceps to burn when you’re doing a biceps workout, so with CV should your sole focus be getting your heart rate going and your body sweating. Any movement, done vigorously and continuously, can have these benefits and so is a suitable form of CV. Here are some suggestions you might not have considered:
Running Backward: Running backwards is a brilliant way to make running more difficult and it forces you to focus on using different muscles when you run – you’ll have a great burn in your legs when you’re finished I assure you.
Running on Sand: Running on sand again gives your running more resistance and can help you to get your heart working harder when you’re running.
Jumping Up and Down in Water: This might sound ridiculous, but if you want to quickly get your heart pounding in the pool and you don’t mind being completely unsociable, then just jumping up and down vigorously in the water like a piston can actually be a great way to get your heart pumping. It works better in the sea because not everyone will be mad at you.
Mirror Boxing: Mirror boxing is boxing in front of the mirror. This is one I do instead of shadow boxing because it’s easier to watch technique and doesn’t require any clever lighting.
Dancing: Vigorous dancing is a great way to get your heart pounding and it’s something that many people actually enjoy which gives it a big bonus. This is a great example of how you can train ‘incidentally’. Simply make sure that next time you’re out on the town, you put in the utmost effort when dancing to burn the maximum number of calories. This way you can burn off some of those pints too.
Meanwhile you can also burn calories dancing at home, but it’s easiest if you make it a repetitive motion – for instance twisting your hips left and right and your upper body in the opposite direction. This way you will be able to train your obliques as well which are the muscles that go down the sides of your abdominal muscles.
Sports and Classes: If you struggle to stick to your CV, then starting a class or a sport is a great way to keep yourself motivated. This way you have other people relying on you and making sure that you stick to your training which is a great way to ensure that you don’t give up. I’ve seen people lose large amounts of weight after starting Karate.
Jack-in-the-Box: To do these you want to curl up in a ball while crouching and then jump up as high as you can into a star shape before landing back in the squatted position. This is a great workout that will also really train your legs.
Squat Thrusts: You might remember these from gym class. They’re more CV than they are resistance work really, and they’re ideal for getting your heart rate up without needing any space or making a mess.
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