The weather is warming up and it's time to start thinking about taking your workout OUTSIDE.
Yes, OUTSIDE! You don't need to invest in any fancy exercise equipment or an expensive gym membership to get summer-ready. These bodyweight cardio moves can easily be modified to meet any fitness level and can be done anywhere, any time.
Check out this full segment from Better Kansas City on KCTV5 below. Alexis and I talk about WHY these exercises are so effective, how you can modify them to make them more or less challenging, and demonstrate a few of my favorite moves.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW: This Gym Equipment is Travel-friendly and Can Seriously Up Your Workout Game
WATCH NOW: Bodyweight cardio moves that are great replacements for the treadmill
If you have been stuck inside all winter and are ready to hit the ground running with an outdoor workout, these bodyweight cardio moves are great options to replace an indoor treadmill or elliptical. There are SO many benefits to using your own bodyweight to get a good sweat sesh. The most obvious one being that you literally need ZERO pieces of equipment. Bodyweight exercises like the ones demonstrated in the video above are a great way to target specific major muscle groups, but also engage smaller stabilizer muscles (like the muscles in your core). The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to using your own bodyweight, so don't be afraid to get creative and mix up your routine a bit so you don't get in a rut or bored.
Bodyweight exercises that cause your heart rate to increase are a great way to combine cardio and strength training. When you put several of these moves together in a high-intensity style circuit format, your heart rate will follow an interval pattern and result in a more effective workout than if you were to do 40 minutes of steady state cardio.
Why does this happen? In the long run, HIIT workouts, (High Intensity Interval Training) are one of the best ways to build lean muscle mass and burn more fat in comparison to steady-state cardio. Sure, your fitness tracker may say you burned 400 calories jogging at the same pace for 40 minutes, but our bodies are SMART and the more you do steady-state cardio, the less effective it will become when it comes to seeing results. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - it means your body is EFFICIENT and is working properly! As you adapt to the level of stress steady-state cardio puts on the body, you become more efficient at how you use your energy (calories).
HIIT creates an "after-burn" effect, which is otherwise known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). EPOC is the amount of oxygen your body requires after a workout to restore it to its natural state and can lead to a greater net calorie burn during the following hours of a HIIT workout.
The reason HIIT is so effective is because your body requires more oxygen during these periods of high-intensity exercise. According to ACE Fitness, your body burns about 5 calories in order to utilize 1 liter of oxygen. Therefore, the more oxygen you are using, the more calories you will burn during AND after a workout.
CLICK HERE TO READ: What is HIIT? | Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training & How to Include HIIT in Your Workouts
If you are looking for ways to incorporate these bodyweight exercises into your routine, the first step is to start out small and listen to your body. Everyone is different, and before beginning any workout routine you should consult with your doctor to make sure it is right for you. Bodyweight moves are one of the best ways to get up, get moving, and begin living a more active lifestyle anytime, anywhere.
What are some of your favorite bodyweight exercises? Leave a comment below or head over to my Instagram account @samanthabowers_ and let me know your faves. I want to hear from you!