5 No-Jump Cardio Workouts You Can Do at Home

Cardio is a popular form of exercise and for good reason. It’s one of the best ways to get in shape, burn stubborn fat, and improve cardiovascular health. However, jumping around like a rabbit isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. Plus, if you have health issues, like arthritis or osteoporosis, you might be looking for alternatives for boosting your heart rate without stressing your bones and joints. Jumping is only one way of getting your heart rate up and your legs pumping. Here are five ways to get a cardio workout without jumping and without impact on your joints.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a term for exercises performed back-to-back with no rest periods. It’s a conditioning workout because it boost your heart rate and forces your heart and lungs to work harder and can build strength and muscle endurance at the same time. Plus, you can vary the exercises you do for greater variety.

Circuit-style training is a great way to get an intense workout in a short amount of time. To get cardiovascular benefits, the key is to not rest between exercises to keep your heart rate up. You can do circuit training with free weights, resistance bands, bodyweight exercises or any combination of these.

Here’s how it works: For each exercise, perform a specific number of repetitions. Focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups to raise your heart rate more. Examples are deadlifts, squats, lunges, bench press, push-ups, pull-ups, and bent-over rows.

The beauty of this approach is you can build strength while you boost your heart rate enough to get a cardiovascular workout while doing a variety of exercises and movements that don’t require jumping.

Walking and Hiking

Walking is another type of workout where one foot is on the ground at all times, and you don’t have to jump. Depending on your pace and the terrain you walk on, you can get an effective cardiovascular workout through walking alone. You can either increase the pace to raise your heart rate into the aerobic training zone or do interval walking where you walk at a moderate pace for 30 seconds and then walk as briskly as possible for 30 seconds and alternate back and forth.

Adding an incline will greatly improve the cardiovascular benefits you get. You can do this by tackling hills during your walks or take a hike instead. With hiking the terrain is always changing and that forces your cardiovascular system to work harder. Plus, hiking is a good workout for improving balance.

Walking has other perks too that extend beyond cardiovascular fitness. For example, it’s a good way to reduce stress and improve focus. If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, walking may help to lift your mood.

Kettlebell Swings

What are kettlebells and why would you swing one? Kettlebells are weights that are shaped a bit like a cannonball with a handle. The handle makes it easy to grip and do various exercises that build strength and increase the heart rate. Kettlebells are often used to gain strength, lose fat, and build power in the upper and lower body.

You can do a variety of exercises using a kettlebell, but the kettlebell swing is the most effective for improving cardiovascular fitness without jumping. Swinging a kettlebell is a ballistic exercise that trains the muscles in the legs, hips, and back to produce power more explosively. It also improves hip mobility, which makes it easier to do other strength-training exercises, like squats.

When you do the exercise correctly, swings will strengthen your core, hip flexors, glutes, and posterior chain without placing impact on your joints. Along with boosting your heart rate for cardiovascular benefits, kettlebell swings are an effective fat-burning exercise since the dynamic nature of a swing burns calories.

Step Workouts

Step workouts are still one of the best ways to boost your heart rate without jumping. All you need is a platform to step on and off of. Along with boosting your heart rate, a step workout will target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and core. And the best part is that you can do step workouts at home without a gym.

There are a variety of movements you can do using a step or platform and some online videos offer choregraphed routines you can do at home using a step platform. If you have little space or equipment, a step workout could be the solution you’re looking for to improve your cardiovascular fitness and build strength in your lower body and core.

Cardiovascular Exercise Machines

If you don’t mind investing in a piece of equipment, there are home workout machines that will help you get a low-impact cardiovascular workout. Some of the most popular are rowing machines, elliptical machines, and recumbent bike. You can also do a low-impact, jump-free workout on a treadmill by walking and increasing the challenge by changing the incline. Although you don’t need a workout machine to get a jump-free cardio workout, some people like having this additional option. If you buy used, you can get workout machines at a reasonable price, and the payoff will be better health and fitness!

The Bottom Line

As you can see, you can get an effective cardio workout that’s jump free, and you don’t need special equipment unless you decide to invest in a machine. For balanced fitness, why not alternate the type of jump-free cardio workouts you do? Do a circuit workout one day and take a brisk walk, that includes a hill, the next. With the jump-free cardio alternatives above, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness and build strength.
Beckham, S. G., & Earnest, C. P. (2000). Metabolic cost of free weight circuit weight training. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 40(2), 118-125. Retrieved 3 29, 2021, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11034431
Farrar, R. E., Mayhew, J. L., & Koch, A. J. (2010). Oxygen cost of kettlebell swings. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(4), 1034-1036. Retrieved 3 29, 2021, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300022
Mitchell, J., Johnson, W., Riemann, B. L., Krajewski, K., & Coates, C. W. (2015). Biomechanical Loading of the American Kettlebell Swing. Retrieved 3 29, 2021, from https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/imece/proceedings/imece2015/57380/v003t03a089/264367.

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