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For a long time, your typical cardio workout seemed relegated to the treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, or stair climber. But as effective as these machines can be, they can get pretty boring, pretty quickly.

Since nobody wants to be bored during their workouts, we’re suggesting you take a new approach to your next cardio session by trying something new.
If you think about it, just about any type of exercise can be cardio if you do it quickly and intensely enough. Mind you, it’s important you make sure your form and movement mechanics are sound, so as not to injure yourself.
But assuming your technique is good enough to keep you safe, everything from squats to deadlifts can be used to get your heart rate up.
The trick? Err on the side of low load, high volume. In other words: move fast and not so heavy.
For a little inspiration, check out these three cardio workouts that will take you less than 20 minutes to get done—all without having to step on a single machine.

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3 Alternative Ways to do Cardio Without Using an Elliptical

alternative cardio

Workout 1: Pick Up, Jump Up, Pull Up

In 20 minutes, do as many rounds of the following circuit as possible:

– 10 deadlifts (the weight should be light enough for you to complete 10 reps in a row with relative ease: remember, the trick for cardio is good movement fast, not heavy movement slow)
– 20 ring rows
– 30 reps with the jump rope (go for double unders if you’ve got them)

Workout 2: Agility in Action

This cardio workout will get your heart rate up and help you work on your balance, coordination, and stamina.
Repeat the following sequence 3 times, for a grand total of 15 minutes:

– 1 minute of side skaters (1 rep = right + left leg)
– 1 minute of high knees
– 1 minute of incline push-ups (hands on a box or bench)
– 1 minute of box jumps or step ups to a bench
– 1 minute of rest

Workout 3: Demonic Duo

Which is worse: a thruster or a burpee?
Can’t decide? Yeah, we can’t either…so why not do both?
Perform the following workout as fast as you can:

– 21 thrusters with a barbell or a pair of dumbbells (weight should be light enough for you to do the first set of 21 in 2 sets or less)
– 21 burpees
– 15 thrusters
– 15 burpees
– 9 thrusters
– 9 burpees

Just don’t say we didn’t warn you on this one.
Happy cardio, team!