With most gyms having battle ropes, kettlebells, and medicine balls, there are more interesting ways to get your sweat on instead of being held captive by the treadmill or a elliptical.
The beauty of using these tools is it saves your joints from taking an unwanted pounding on the treadmill, and with little or no eccentric stress involved with the exercises below, you’re not likely to get to sore afterwards which allows you to have your bacon and eat it, too.
The routines below are my go to cardio when training for strength or hypertrophy/fat loss. Insert these at the end of your training as a finisher or between strength training sessions in place of traditional cardio. Smile and wave at the cardio bunnies while you’re sweating because they’re probably wondering what the heck you’re doing.
1. Battle ropes/Side plank combo
Instructions– Do any battle rope variation for 30 seconds and then immediately get into side plank. Make sure to breathe down into your belly and engage your glutes. Hold this for 30 seconds. Go back to the battle ropes for other 30 second interval and do the side plank on the opposite side. Repeat this sequence for 10 minutes.
2. Kettlebell swings/medicine ball slam
Instructions– Do this as a countdown superset. Do 20 reps each of the swings and the slams and go down by two each time you perform a round until you reach two reps for each exercise (for example 20-18-16-14….2). If you don’t have access to medicine balls, substitute in battle rope slams.
3. 10 minute farmers carry
Instructions– Depending on your strength level, start with one 20, 25 or 30 pound kettlebell. Hold the bell overhead (bottoms up) and walk, keeping your biceps by or behind your ear. After you lose your grip, stop and reset. When you lose your grip for the second time, bring the bell into the rack position and keep walking.
Once you lose neutral wrist position or your upper back is screaming at you, hold the bell suitcase style by your side and keep walking. Do this for a total of five minutes on each side.
Cardio shouldn’t always be a grind and neither should it stand between your bacon. These routines will keep your cardio short, sweet, intense and most of all fun.
Did I mention bacon?