Home cardio workout: 15 minute burn

Get fit in 15 with this brilliant, fast-paced, fast-acting workout that pushes every area of ​​your body, including those lungs. It’ll keep you warm and strengthen your legs, core and lungs – it’s the perfect cross training burst to complement your running. And you can squeeze it in before work!

Why do runners need to build cardio strength?

Running itself is cardio exercise, so most of the time when we talk about cross-training we’re thinking about strength training or flexibility. Those are both great ways to improve your running, but working on your cardio will make running more comfortable by preparing your heart and lungs for tough sessions. In this workout you’ll build muscle strength, but you’ll also work on cardiovascular fitness and help your body to use oxygen more efficiently.

What equipment do I need for this home cardio workout?

You’ll need some home workout equipment for these exercises, including a kettlebell, hand weights and a stability ball. You can find suggestions in the article that we’ve linked to, or check out cheap options on Decathlon or Amazon.

Warm up

Jog on the spot for a minute. Swing your leg 10 times forwards and backwards followed by side to side. Do 10 arm circles forwards and backwards.

How to do cardio exercises

Alternate one minute of kettlebell swings with 40 seconds of one of the other exercises. Rest for 20 seconds. Repeat it seven times until you have done all the exercises. Finish the workout with one minute of kettlebell swings. If you have a heavy bell, swing reps of 10 with a few seconds rest between, then go again until the minute is up. Repeat the circuit four times if you want a full hour’s workout. Increase the weight of the kettlebell to increase your cardio effort.

Cool down

Perform a full body stretch routine. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds.

15-minute home cardio workout

Kettlebell swing

home cardio workout kettlebell swing

Areas trained: Arms, shoulders, core, back, bum, legs (biceps, triceps, deltoids, transversus abdominus, rectus abdominus, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings)

Why do it? A great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness while toning all the muscles in your body.

Technique:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and bend your knees
  2. Grab hold of the kettlebell handle with both hands
  3. Your forearms should be in between your inner thighs
  4. Keep your stomach and back muscles tight
  5. Drive your hips forward, lift your torso and straighten your legs
  6. Swing the kettlebell forwards until it’s above your head
  7. Swing the kettlebell back down between your legs while pushing your hips back and bending your knees
  8. This movement is a fast snapping movement

Be safe: Focus on one point in front of you to maintain a good spinal position. If you’re concerned about your back, or your form, swing to just shoulder height.

Single arm row

home cardio workout single arm row

Areas trained: Upper back and back part of your shoulder (rhomboids and rear deltoids)

Why do it? This exercise will improve your running posture and prevent you from slouching during a run when you get tired.

Technique:

  1. Stand with your right leg in front of your left leg and hold a weight in your left hand
  2. Bend forward and place your right hand on your right knee for stability
  3. Pull your left hand with the weight up to your armpit
  4. Hold the top position for a second before slowly lowering it with control
  5. Complete one set on the left before changing over to the right

Be safe: Ensure that you keep your back straight throughout the movement.

Weighted squat

home cardio workout weighted squat

Areas trained: Bum, front and back thighs (glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings)

Why do it? Improving muscle strength in your legs will make running easier and your body will start to use oxygen more efficiently.

Technique:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a weight in each hand
  2. Keep your back straight and look forward
  3. Slowly bend your knees to 90 degrees – or as close as possible
  4. Return to the starting position

Be safe: Ensure that your knees do not cross over your toes and do not look down.

Weighted lunges

home cardio workout weighted lunges

Areas trained: Bum, front and back thighs and balance (glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings)

Why do it? Training the muscles in a similar way that you use them while you run will increase your running endurance.

Technique:

  1. Stand with your feet together and hold a weight in each hand
  2. Step forward with your left leg
  3. Bend both knees and lower your back knee to the floor
  4. Keep your upper body upright and look forward
  5. Straighten your legs and push back to the starting position
  6. Repeat with your right leg

Be safe: Make sure your knees don’t cross over your toes and keep your upper body upright.

Seated triceps extension

home cardio workout seated triceps extension

Areas trained: Back of arm (triceps)

Why do it? Strong arms are required to give a powerful running-arm swing which helps to regulate your stride.

Technique:

  1. Sit on a stability ball and hold a weight in your left hand above your head
  2. Slowly lower the weight with control behind your head towards your back
  3. Keep your elbow close to your head by supporting it with the opposite hand
  4. Straighten your arms up to the ceiling

Be safe: Keep your back straight and do slow controlled movements.

Shoulder press

home cardio workout seated triceps extension

Areas trained: Shoulders (deltoids)

Why do it? A good posture will improve the efficiency of your running stride.

Technique:

  1. Sit on a stability ball
  2. Hold a weight in each hand level with your shoulder and your palms facing forwards
  3. Push the weights up to the ceiling but don’t lock your arms at the top
  4. Slowly lower the weight back to your shoulders

Be safe: Make sure you don’t arch your back when you’re pushing the weight up.

Stability ball crossovers

home cardio workout stability ball crossovers

Areas trained: Core muscles, side muscles (transverus abdominus, obliques)

Why do it? Your side muscles play an important role in keeping your balance and connecting your upper and lower body movements to create a smooth running stride.

Technique:

  1. Lie with the arch of your back on a stability ball
  2. Hold a weight with both hands behind your head
  3. Crunch up twisting your right shoulder over to your left hip
  4. Repeat to the other side
  5. Alternate between left and right

Be safe: Push your lower back into the ball.

Single leg weighted wood chop

home cardio workout weighted wood chop

Areas trained: Front thigh (quadriceps), bum (glutes), lower back (erector spinae), side muscles (obliques), core muscles (transversus abdominus)

Why do it? This is a great static exercise that will improve your balance and coordination.

Technique:

  1. Stand on your right leg with your left arm extended up to the ceiling, holding onto a weight
  2. Focus on one point in front of you to help your balance
  3. Bend your right knee and lower the weight to the floor, placing the weight on the outside of your right foot
  4. Lift back up to the starting position
  5. Complete one set on the right before changing to the left

Be safe: Keep your tummy muscles tight throughout the movement.

Want more workouts? Check out our ultimate bum workout.

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