Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adding Some Zsa Zsa to Your Cardio

I am the first to admit it...during the summer, when it comes to doing cardio, my routine is so much easier. Making the most of the weather while it's gorgeous outside is my focus, so going running and playing tennis are my main sources of cardio. As the weather changes, moving my routine inside can sometimes be a challenge because I easily get bored doing cardio machines. Sound familiar?

So let's look at some ways to mix it up:

Circuit Training. If you don't have time for cardio and you really want to get your weight training routine in, then try some circuit training. This means keeping your body moving between sets with very little rest time. Break your routine down by choosing 5-7 exercises and do short bursts of cardio in between. This keeps the heart rate up and ultimately give you a better workout. You can do each exercise for 45 seconds each with a 15 second transition time into the next exercise. You will be alternating a strength exercise with a cardio move.

Here's an example:

Squat Shoulder Press
Jump Rope
Wide Grip Row
Step Ups
Bicep Curls
Burpees (push ups with a jump up)
Ball Crunches

Repeat circuit 2-3 times

Hit the Track. You can do this workout inside or outside. Depending on your individual running level, you can do as many laps around the track as you like. The key is to do something different on the straight aways and then jog/walk around the curves of the track. Some options for the straight aways are side shuffles, karaoke (like side shuffles but alternating one leg in front of the other), skipping with jumps, frog leaps, high knee jogging, or lunges (forward or lateral). If you really want to work hard, you can sprint the straight aways.

Short Bursts on 3 Machines. If you feel like you get "exercise ADD" when you're on cardio machines, you're not alone! One way to make it easier is to shorten your time on each machine to 10-15 minutes instead of spending 30-45 minutes on one machine. Changing up the programs or increasing levels will give you some variation.

Here are a few routines to get started:

Routine #1
Stepmill (or gauntlet) - Hill or interval program for 10-15 min
Elliptical - Cross Training or random program for 10- 15 min
Treadmill - Speedwork 2 min fast to 1 min jog for 10-15 min

Routine #2
Spinning Cycle - Alternating sitting and standing for 1 minute each for 10 to 14 min total. Remember to increase the resistance when you stand.
Treadmill - Walk/jog increasing incline by 1.0 every other minute for 15 min.
Ski Slide - 2 to 3 minutes sliding with one set of "climbers" or plank ups in between. Repeat 3 times.

Routine #3
Rowing Machine - 5-10 min.
Upright Bike - Hills or Heart Rate Training program for 15 min.Elliptical - Aerobic Training, Reverse, or Intervals for 15-20 min.

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