Fitness

Try These Cardio Exercises at Home to Get in a Workout Without Infuriating Your Neighbors

Gym and studio closures and social distancing over the last few weeks mean many exercisers are taking their workout to their living room. But cardio exercises at home can be loud: Many require some form of jumping, which—while definitely effective at making you sweat—can also sound like an angry, giant-size toddler stomping around to your neighbors in the apartment below.

Stress levels are already high due to the new coronavirus, and you don’t want to make it any worse by adding tense neighbor relations to the mix. But you don’t have to miss out on an at-home cardio workout, either: You just need a workout that’s low-impact and cuts out the jumping but allows you to work at a high intensity.

The best way to do that is to incorporate lots of full-body, compound movements, Noam Tamir, CSCS, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in NYC, tells SELF.

“When you jump, you are using a lot more force—it’s multiple times your bodyweight that you are handling, so your heart rate is going to go up, and it’s going to be a lot more on your muscles and your joints,” he says. “However, doing moves that are multijoint, where hips, knees, shoulders, and everything is involved, are going to be more beneficial to get your heart rate up when you can’t do impact.” That means focus on big moves like squats or push-ups, rather than single-joint exercises like triceps extensions or bicep curls.

In order to best mimic the sweaty, I’m-really-breathing-hard-now response that you’d get with traditional, high-impact home cardio workouts, keep the rest short and reps high for these kinds of moves, he says. In the workout he created below, you’ll do that with a Tabata circuit (20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest), a regular circuit, where you’ll move from exercise to exercise without rest, an EMOM circuit (every minute on the minute), and an AMRAP circuit, where you complete as many rounds as possible during a given amount of time. (Of course, safety matters most, so if you feel too out of breath or like your form is degrading, give yourself additional time to rest.)

By combining these two factors—compound movements and intense work—you can get an at-home cardio workout that won’t drive your neighbors up the wall. As a happy bonus too, the low-impact nature of the workout is also great for those with joint issues who need to avoid high-impact moves, as well as for beginners who may not be able to execute jumping-based moves safely and effectively.

Want to get started? Try these cardio exercises at home to get sweating, fast.

The Workout

What you’ll need: No equipment is required for this workout, though you may want an exercise mat for comfort during some of these moves.

Exercises:

Mobility Warm-Up

  • Cat-Cow
  • Marching Glute Bridge
  • Plank With T-Spine Rotation
  • Reverse Alternating Lunges

Tabata Starter

  • Bodyweight Squats
  • Push-ups

Circuit 1

  • Lateral Lunge
  • Superman
  • Downward Dog Mountain Climber

Circuit 2 (EMOM)

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Bicycle Crunches

Circuit 3 (AMRAP)

  • Lateral Plank Walk
  • Forward Lunge
  • Inchworm

Directions

  • For the warm-up, do each move for 30 seconds, except for the plank with T-spine rotation, which you’ll do for 20 seconds on each side.
  • For the Tabata, for each move do 20 seconds of work and then rest for 10 seconds. Do four rounds.
  • For Circuit 1, complete the unilateral moves (lunge and mountain climber) for 25 seconds per side, and the Superman for 30 seconds. Do one–three rounds.
  • For Circuit 2, set a timer for one minute, and complete 20 reps of each exercise on each side. Rest for the remainder of the minute. Do three rounds.
  • For Circuit 3, set a timer for four minutes. Complete 10 reps of each exercise (five on each side for the first two). Do as many rounds as you can within that time.

Demoing the moves below are Zach Job (GIF 1), a New York–based artist and producer who is also an up-and-coming drag queen known as Glow Job; Nikki Pebbles (GIFs 2, 4, and 5), a New York City–based fitness instructor for over nine years and an AFAA- and NCCPT-certified personal trainer and group fitness trainer who regularly teaches cycling and dance cardio; Amanda Wheeler (GIFs 3, 6, and 8), a certified strength and conditioning specialist and cofounder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and its allies; Teresa Hui (GIFs 7 and 14), a native New Yorker who has run more than 150 road races, including 16 full marathons; Cookie Janee, (GIFs 9, 11, and 12) a background investigator and security forces specialist in the Air Force Reserve; and Rachel Denis (GIFs 10 and 13), a powerlifter who competes with USA Powerlifting and holds multiple New York State powerlifting records.

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