Second last day of our 30 days of cardio! 5 exercises, do the specified reps, and do as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes.
Now before we get started, keep these things in mind:
- Any uninjured/reasonably healthy person should be able to do this. Remember to listen to your body. If it feels like you can work harder, you probably can. If it feels like it’s too hard or something is causing pain, you probably should not be doing it. Be aware of your fitness level when starting this program (not where you once were 10 yrs ago or where you think you should be). Work hard enough to challenge yourself, but not so hard you injure yourself.
- If you don’t like, or can’t do, a specific movement, try to think of an alternative before you get started. For instance, I have an injury to my left arm. I can not bend my wrist or put pressure on it. That means all movements like pushups, planks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc need modifications because I can’t put my hands flat on the ground. Holding onto a set of dumbbells or holding onto the side of a step or table allows me to do the exercise without furthering my injury.
- Burpees and mountain climbers become easier when you place your hands onto a step or sturdy chair instead of all the way down on the the ground, or if you simply slow down the movement. Plank variations can be done on elbows and/or knees until you build up the strength to do them from hands and feet. I will post more modifications alongside each exercise.
- To make an exercise harder you can hold onto a medicine ball or any kind of weight you have around the house (water jug works well). Hold it at chest level or overhead. You can also increase the speed with which you move to increase the difficulty. To ensure you are not slacking in your 15 min session, count your reps for each exercise and match or exceed them on subsequent sets.
- To make an exercise easier, slow it down. We use timed intervals to avoid having to do a certain number of reps. Beginners will get 5 reps out in 40s while advanced will be able to bang out 15 but everyone is working hard for their own level…right?! So slow the movement down, step or shuffle instead of jump or hop, walk instead of jog, jog instead of run, remain stationary instead of travelling or jumping.
- If you are doing your session first thing in the morning, like straight outta bed, do yourself a favour and add an extra 5 minutes at the start to do some leg and arm swings and some light dynamic stretching before you get started. This is a good idea regardless of the time of day…so you prevent injury and can actually train hard during the 15 minute session…but it’s super important if it’s the first thing you do in the day.
- Lunges are a great exercise but many people do them wrong and hurt their knees. If you are a beginner, if you have a weak core, if you have bad knees…step BACK into a reverse lunge. And if even that is too hard, keep it stationary, both feet planted, and move yourself up and down. If you are more advanced, and have a good strong core, you can do forward alternating lunges if you have a small space. Walking lunges if you have a hallway or the space to move forward. Make sure the heel of the front foot is planted with each rep…if it doesn’t touch you need to take a longer stride.
- If you can not keep up to the timed interval and need extra rest, that’s ok, take it. Just keep at it, keep challenging yourself and working at it and little by little you will improve. By the end of the 30 days, if you repeat work out #1, I’d bet money you’ll be able to keep up and not need the extra rest.
- If you are going to share this to a friends wall, or pin it, please link back to the page and not just the image so that they have the benefit of these modification tips just like you do.