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A 10-Minute, Low-Impact Cardio Workout That Also Builds Total-Body Strength

Jessica Aronoff, CPT
Fitness instructor & Dancer By Jessica Aronoff, CPT
reverse lunge with kick

Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainer: Jessica Aronoff.

Earlier this month, I shared a low-impact, high-intensity cardio workout using a mini-trampoline. Now, I've created a workout that's similarly gentle on your joints but doesn't require any equipment (except maybe a yoga mat). Introducing, your new favorite low-impact cardio sculpting workout to do at home.

The objective of this 10-minute routine is to get stronger and spike our heart rates at the same time. So, essentially, you're getting the best of both worlds—cardio mixed with strength—all wrapped up in a quick workout.

This routine includes strength- and balance-focused movements, with a cardio push! As you move through the workout, I encourage you to focus on your breathing, to really help get the most out of the 10 minutes. Also, one of my tricks to help engage your core is to exhale purposefully—almost like you're getting the wind knocked out of you.

I suggest doing this type of speedy cardio workout three to five times per week, to get a quick energy boost, elevate your heart rate, and help your body feel amazing. It's a particularly nice wake-up call if you've been sitting for an extended period of time.

Give this 10-minute low-impact cardio routine a try yourself! See how much it helps shake up your energy and get that heart pumping—with barely any time, minimal space, and no equipment necessary.

Your 4-week challenge: This month, I'm going to share four different movement routines you can do from home. Some will be more cardio-focused, and others will emphasize more strength and sculpting. I encourage you to make these routines part of your weekly workout schedule as often as you can, but aim for at least two to three times a week.

Workout Summary

  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Equipment: A mat.
  • Instructions: For this routine, it's helpful to follow along with the full video and move through the exercises as instructed. Below, you'll find a breakdown of each key exercise featured in this routine.
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Reverse Lunge Pulse + Kick

reverse lunge pulse and kick

Image by mbg creative

  1. From a standing position, take one big step back behind you, pushing down through your front heel. Make sure the front knee bends right over the standing foot and tracks over second toe.
  2. Find two pulses at the bottom, moving up an inch and down an inch. Imagine there is a Pilates ball in between your thighs, and you're squeezing them toward each other. Press hands together in front of your chest.
  3. When you come back to standing, kick your toes forward, tossing the energy out of your toe. Make a long energetic line, extending through the back of your hamstring, pushing through your standing foot to find that balance. 

Modified Burpee

modified burpee

Image by mbg creative

  1. From a standing position, plant your hands on the mat, and step your feet back into a plank.
  2. Then, step your left foot up to your hand, then your right foot.
  3. Come up to standing, squeezing your glutes and abs at the top.
  4. Bring your hands down, step back into your plank, and repeat the movement.

Standing Side Bend

standing side bend

Image by mbg creative

  1. Start in a standing position. Drop your tailbone down, and knit your ribs closed.
  2. Bend your arms, and bring your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows and collarbone wide.
  3. Feel your body stretch up, and then bend to the side. Repeat on the opposite side.

High Knees

High Knees

Image by mbg creative

  1. Bring your arms out in front of you. Bend your elbows, and stack one hand on top of the other. Feel your shoulders drop down.
  2. Drive your knee up to your hands, then switch knees. Engage your core to pull the knees up. Quickly alternate bringing one knee up, then the other.

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