Easy 5-minute cardio workouts
- Squat back on your heels, and if you are able to get down low enough, touch your fingertips to the floor. Jump up, reaching both hands in the air, legs together, and land back down in your squat, reaching one hand to the floor.
- Place one foot on a workout deck and one foot on the floor. No deck? Use a stair or a low, stable step stool. Bring your knee into your chest and then tap your foot to the floor for 30 seconds. Switch feet and step up for 30 more seconds on the other side. You can also do this on the floor without a deck--just be sure to keep your movements quick to raise your heart rate.
Place one foot on your deck and one foot on the floor. Switch by taking your foot to the and the other to the deck, quickly moving up and over the deck. Be sure to always keep one foot on the floor and one on the deck, adding a hop at the top if you can.
- With your chest up and rear pushed back, move side to side with one leg long and one knee bent.
- Put your hands on your deck (or the seat of a chair) and hop back and forth over the deck as many times as you can. If you need to, do 8 or 10 jumps and then take a break for a couple seconds before starting again.
The five-minute workouts you have been completing (and mastering!) are designed to sculpt and shape your muscles. I'm sure most of you already know that the more solid muscle mass you have on your body, the more fat you burn! There are also ways to burn fat even faster-with shredders.
Shredders are the term we coined for powerful, fat-burning cardio sessions. Instead of cardio at a steady rate, 'shredders' are cardio sessions done at high and low intensities for 30-second intervals. The changes in intensity maximize the amount of fat burned. I like to call the intervals 'thrilling thirties'!
You can start adding shredders to your collection of five-minute workouts three days a week, and can move up to six days a week. They can be done first thing in the morning, right before bed, in the middle of the day, or after your five-minute workout. Whatever is convenient for you!
The most important thing as you incorporate shredders into your workout plan? Make a realistic commitment. If that means only five minutes a day, only do five minutes a day. If you feel ready for more, then that's awesome! But do whatever is true to you.
So what are shredders? Your favorite cardio activity! If you love the activity, you'll keep doing it. Whether it is running, rowing, cycling, walking, basketball, tennis, or dance...you can shred it!
FIVE-MINUTE ROUTINE: THE BEST CARDIO WORKOUT
Choose your form of cardio.
Set the clock for your time commitment-let's say 5 minutes to start.
- 30 seconds of high intensity (about an 8 on a scale of 1–10)
- 30 seconds of low intensity (about a 6 on a scale of 1–10)
- Repeat until your 5 minutes are up.
For more cardio exercises, check out our slideshow above!
More from Elizabeth Street:
A 5-Minute Total Body Workout
Sculpt Sexy Arms With This 5-Minute Workout
A 5-Minute Ab Workout to Battle That Belly
Our Favorite Tried-and-True Gym Workout Routines