Add variety to your training with these dynamic, no-equipment cardio moves.

As you sluggishly pull yourself toward the treadmill for your umpteenth run this month, the thought hits you: there must be a better way. And there is: dynamic, equipment-free moves like the ones in this four-exercise routine are an excellent way to add variety to your humdrum cardio workout.

Try doing each move for 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds to one minute in between, then repeating twice from the top for a total of three rounds.

Butt Kicks

Butt Kicks

Target Muscles: hamstrings, glutes, calves

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides and elbows bent. Jump and bend one leg behind you to draw your heel toward your glutes; on your next jump, switch legs. Continue, alternating quickly, for your entire set.

High Knees

High Knees

Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, calves

How to do it: Begin in the same starting position as the butt kicks. As you jump, raise your knee in front of your body, alternating legs with each jump. Land lightly on the ball of your foot, and aim to get your knees as high as possible. Repeat for your set.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

Target Muscles: leg adductors and abductors, calves, deltoids

How to do it: Stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Jump your legs out to the sides while raising your arms above your head; your body should form an X. Immediately jump back into the starting position, and continue quickly alternating with each jump.

Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps

Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend your legs to sink into a squat; at the bottom, explode upward into the air, raising your arms overhead to help you gain height. Land with soft knees and immediately sink back into your squat. Repeat for your entire set.

Powered by WPeMatico

The jump rope is one of the simplest, most portable fitness tools at your disposal. Learn the basics and get shredded with these four unique programs.

Jump ropes have been around forever, and you probably took a turn or two with them when you were a kid. But little did you know back then that jumping rope is one of the most effective fat-burning, endurance-building activities you can do, incinerating a ton of calories and boosting your metabolic rate for hours afterward.

“Jump rope is considered one of the greatest exercises on the planet, improving cardiovascular fitness in a third of the time compared to most other aerobic exercises,” says Buddy Lee, U.S. Olympic wrestler and author of Jump Rope Training (Human Kinetics, 2010.) “It’s a total-body activity that incorporates all muscles of both the upper and lower body. And it’s a skilled movement that requires the synchronization and coordination of two movements — a linear motion (body) and a circular motion (jump rope) — requiring the proper timing and coordination to create the perfect jump.”

Though it may sound simple, jumping rope does take some preparation and practice, and you likely won’t resemble Muhammad Ali right out of the gates. Here are some guidelines from Lee to get you started:

Setting Up

  • Find the right rope length by standing with one foot in the center of the rope and pulling the ends straight up. The top of the handle should come to shoulder height. Trim your rope to the appropriate length for you.
  • Grasp the rope lightly in both hands with your palms facing upward and your wrists lower than your elbows. If your wrists are higher than that, the rope will shorten as a consequence and you’ll likely step on it or trip.
  • Keep your upper arms close to your sides with your arms turned away from you about 90 degrees.

What kind of rope should I get?

The rope you choose should reflect your skill level and goals, according to Lee. Beginners should use a rope with a little weight to it for better control, such as a beaded rope or plastic speed rope. As you improve, switch over to a lightweight PVC core, which is more aerodynamic and quicker.


  • Turn the rope in small, quick circles with your wrists, not your arms and shoulders.
  • Hop on the balls of your feet a couple of inches off the floor and land with soft knees to protect your joints.
  • Keep your jumps small and tight, only an inch or two off the floor. The rope is thin and you don’t need to jump a foot in the air to clear it; that’s just a waste of energy and you’ll tire a lot quicker if you jump that high.
  • Keep your face forward and focus straight ahead to maintain a neutral spine.
  • Be patient and build up to a rhythm. Find your natural speed and maintain it for time or a set number of reps.

The Moves

Basic Jump: Jump with both feet over the rope at the same time.

Running Man: Run in place, jumping over the rope with each stride.

High Knees:  Alternately raise your knees to hip height while jumping over the rope.

Slalom Jump: Jump both feet side to side as you jump over the rope as if skiing.

Jump Jack: Jump your feet over the rope and apart, then over the rope and back together, as if doing the lower half of a jumping jack.

Hop Jump: Hop on just one foot over the rope as you hold the other foot in the air.

Beginner Program

  • Find an open area in which to practice and do five minutes of Basic Jumping. If you miss a beat or step on the rope, no worries: Just get back into it right away.
  • Aim to do 10 jumps in a row, for example, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat that sequence until you hit your five minutes.
  • Each session, try to do 10 more jumps in a row than you did last time, and add one to three more minutes to your total.
  • Once you can comfortably jump for two to five minutes straight, experiment with the jumping variations, then move on to the other workouts in this article.

Workout 1: Just Jump

Warm up with some light cardio and dynamic stretching, then begin your workout. If you miss a stride or can’t master one of the moves, that’s OK: Just get back into the rhythm and continue with one of the techniques you’ve mastered. In time, you’ll be able to do all 10 minutes without stopping.

Workout 2: Circuit Breaker

Warm up with light cardio and dynamic stretching, then begin this total-body strength and cardio workout that uses jump rope as the cardio intervals. Place the rope to one side and use a moderately heavy set of dumbbells for the strength moves. Beginners should go through the workout once; intermediate and advanced participants can hit it twice.

Workout 3: Core Killer

Incinerate fat and build endurance with this core-intensive program. Use the two minutes of Basic Jumping to warm up, then do each move for the designated time using good form.

Bonus! Workout 4: Tabata Time

For advanced participants only, this workout requires bursts of Basic Jumping, going as fast and as hard as you can for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds. Follow that sequence eight times for a total of four minutes, and you should be toast. Note: Be sure you properly warm up before doing this program to avoid injury and stretch or foam roll afterward — it’s very intense.

Powered by WPeMatico

There are few things in the world more frustrating than working your butt off and not seeing results. I’ve certainly been there and spent a ton of time scrambling to figure out what I could do differently. We’d all like to believe that if you’re putting in solid, consistent effort in the gym and in the kitchen, it will continue to pay off and get you closer to your goals. But sadly, the reality is that it’s really not that simple. There are so many reasons why you might find yourself hitting a plateau. Here are some of the most…

The post 5 Reasons Why You’re Not Reaching Your Fitness Goals appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

Powered by WPeMatico

We can’t tell you how PSYCHED we were to see Desi Linden win the Boston Marathon this year — and to do it by showing such heart-touching sportsmanship at that. It was truly one of our fave moments in sports history, ever. (No, you’re crying.) And while we encourage you (and ourselves!) to go out and show character like Desi today (and every day), here’s one of her speed workouts from Hansons Marathon Method so that you can run like her, too. Because, damn, she’s fast. Speed Workouts the Hansons Way Only one elite running team has revealed its marathon …

The post How to Do a Speed Workout Like Desi Linden appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

Powered by WPeMatico

You guys know our FAVORITE personal trainer and fellow coach in the 10 in 4 Challenge, Dave Smith, right? Well, today he’s sharing some fascinating info on workout intensity and doing workouts that get results. It might be quite different than what you’ve heard before … and he’s even got a workout for you to try! Why Are Your Workouts Not Working? When it comes to exercise, a lot of people fall into one of two groups: Group #1: I don’t like it. These people dislike working out. They don’t like going to the gym, they don’t like sweating, and …

The post If Your Workouts Aren’t Working, Try This appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

Powered by WPeMatico

For a full year now, I’ve been going to a few Orangetheory Fitness classes a week. I do that, plus a few hard-core workouts at my usual gym, The Fit Pit, plus a quick run around the neighborhood or some yoga at home as needed, and I feel like my it’s been really great for overall fitness. I’m doing a lot of different things, but in a way that I really enjoy and that allows me to ebb and flow with my work and childcare schedule — which is, like, always changing. (You know how that goes, right? Of course …

The post 10 Minutes of Hills: The OTF-Inspired Workout That Made Me a Stronger Runner appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

Powered by WPeMatico

Did you guys happen to see our Brave Like Gabe Insta story from a couple weeks ago? (We got the scoop a little early because we’re blog ambassadors and affiliates of Brooks.) Because, dude. Her story is SO inspiring that we barely have words for it. But we’re writers, so of course we have words. Hey, if she can undergo cancer treatments and still run at the professional level … well, we can be brave and strong, too. Because, like Gabe, we know how important workouts are for helping us get through challenging times and showing us that we can …

The post Mantras That We Run (and Live) By appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

Powered by WPeMatico