10 Simple Strength and Cardio Workouts That Are Also Effective
Has it been a while since you’ve hit the gym? Maybe it’s been as long as the entire pandemic and you’re finally ready to get back into the swing of things. Whether you’re looking to get back into the studio or for simple but effective workouts, we’ve got some tips to help you build muscle and feel stronger. If you’re looking for fresh and simple strength and cardio workouts that will kickstart healthier habits, you’ve come to the right place.
Though heading into the studio for a guided workout is possible and might be your go-to workout choice, it’s always a good idea to have a few things in your arsenal when you have a few minutes at home or traveling to sneak in a workout. These strength and cardio exercises can help you get your sweat on with minimal equipment and experience.
Below, we’ve listed out some of our favorite easy strength and cardio moves that you can do at home or on the go at your own pace. Doing these exercises at home can help tone your weak spots, get your heart pumping, and boost your confidence and mood. Combine the below simple workouts together in whatever order you’d like for a great workout. Let’s get started!
Effective and Simple Strength and Cardio Workouts To Add To Your Routine
Most fitness experts will tell you there’s no magic formula to getting and staying fit. You get out of it what you put in! However, that doesn’t mean you have to work out for hours every day. Sometimes, fitness really is about working smarter and not harder.
Some exercises are more efficient than others, as they target multiple muscle groups, can be performed by people at any fitness level and can help you burn calories more effectively. With all that said, what are the best strength and cardio exercises? Here are our favorites:
Walking or Jogging
The best workouts include cardiovascular exercise because it strengthens the heart while burning calories. We wanted to include walking or jogging on our list of the most simple and effective strength and cardio workouts because you can do them virtually anytime and anywhere, with no equipment necessary besides a pair of good shoes.
Walking isn’t just for beginners! Even if you’re considered very fit, you can get a good workout from walking. A brisk walk can burn up to 500 calories per hour! It takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound, which means you can expect to lose a pound for every seven hours you walk, even if you do nothing else!
However, we suggest you ease into this process. If you’re starting from the bottom, gradually lengthen your walks to help you avoid injury and keep that habit building. It’s better to lengthen your walks and build that endurance before you boost your speed or incline.
When done correctly, the push-up can strengthen so many muscles in your body, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and even your core! With push-ups and other planking-style exercises involving the pelvis and the core in a suspended position, you have to rely on your strength to stabilize yourself.
Push-ups are awesome because they can be done at any level of fitness. For example, if you’re at a beginner level, start more upright and push from a kitchen-counter height, work your way down to a chair, then on the floor on your needs, and finally at your toes.
The perfect push-up looks like this: Starting on your hands and knees, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. You’re aiming to create a perfect diagonal with your body, from the shoulders to the knees or feet. Try to keep your glutes and abdominal muscles engaged. Next, lower and lift your body by bending and straightening your elbows, lowing your chest down, and keeping your entire torso stable with each bend.
Once your form is perfect, there are always ways to make it harder for yourself as you get stronger.
If you’re aiming to firm up your core, the ab crunch is a great way to target your abs (as long as the form is right!). For the standard crunch, start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor in a comfortable position. Next, place your hands behind your head so your fingers can support it. Start by engaging the abdominals and raise your head, tuck your chin slightly, then your neck and shoulders, followed by the upper back off the floor towards your knees.
Be sure not to pull your neck too far forward and keep your elbows out of your line of vision, which will help you keep your chest and shoulders open. It’s also really important not to arch your back while doing this exercise. If you’re struggling with this, lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees. When crunches are done incorrectly, you can actually weaken your ab muscles.
Remember that no matter how many crunches you do, you won’t get flat abs but only work your core. Burning unwanted belly fats requires using more calories than they take in. Though crunches will help you develop those ab muscles, they won’t burn the fat that sits on top of those muscles.
For beginners and exercise veterans, adding interval training to your cardiovascular workout will boost your fitness level and can even help you lose weight if that is your aim. Varying your pace during any exercise session stimulates the aerobic system and forces it to adapt, helping you burn calories more efficiently.
Whether biking, running, swimming, jumping, or whatever, the way to do it is to push your intensity or pace for a minute and then cool back down for two to ten minutes. Continue this pattern throughout the entire workout.
Strength training is essential if you want to improve your workouts. The more you build your muscles, the greater capacity you have to burn calories. As fitness lovers, we tend to favor strength exercises that target several muscle groups. Squats are an excellent example because they work the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteals. Though this exercise can give you the best bang for your buck, you’ve got to get the form right.
What makes an exercise genuinely effective is how you perform it. If you have bad technique, it’s not functional and won’t give you the results you’re after. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart for perfect squat form, and keep your back straight. Then, bend your knees and lower your backside. Try to keep your knees over the ankle as much as possible. One helpful tip is to imagine you’re about to sit on a low chair. Practicing with an actual can help you get the form right.
Squats are great for those who suffer from knee pain because you strengthen the quadriceps, which is typically the true source of the pain. In addition, strengthening your quads through squats might help decrease your knee pain and help you feel stronger overall.
Let Community Fitness Guide Your Workouts
If you love simple strength and cardio workouts but you don’t want to think about putting a routine together, there is a solution! At Community Fitness, we have strength and fitness classes that you can tune into any day of the week and get a guided workout without needing equipment or skill. So come into the studio and sweat it out with us, or dive into our vast database of recorded classes and exercise from home.
Whatever you decide, we’d love to join you and help you reach your goals this year. So jump back into healthy habits here.