At Dynamic we break-up our cardio training into two intensity zones.
First is our aerobic, long duration, lower-intensity conditioning.
Think of constantly moving at a pace of about a 6 out of 10 for anywhere from 10-45 minutes.
A perfect example would be going out for a 30 minute run.
Your pace and heart-rate stays pretty consistent over the duration.
This style of training is great for improving the health of your heart and speeding up recovery between training sessions, circuits and even exercises. It is the base or foundation of your cardio. This is also a great stress reliever.
The second method of cardio we use at Dynamic is our high-intensity conditioning AKA your fat shredding workouts.
Here you are moving at higher intensity of a 8-10 out of 10 for anywhere from :10-:40 with short rest intervals.
This high heart rate/high-intensity method of training is great for fat loss as you will burn a ton of calories and actually continue to burn them throughout the day.
Both methods of cardio serve their purpose and should be a part of a well balanced training program.
Today we are going to cover our favorite DSC fat shredding exercises that have led to some incredible transformations!
It is also important to note the variety in equipment and exercises.
This is a key component to continual progress as it keeps you from plateauing or getting bored with your training.
Here are 15 of our favorite bang-for-your-buck cardio exercises you can incorporate into your routine today!
#1 Sled March and Sprints
If there was only one exercise we could do with our members it would be the sled. They are so versatile in that you can load them up with lots of weight and work on strength and endurance. You can keep them light and sprint with them. They are low-impact and a ton of fun!
Key points: Sled March
- Keep arms straight and straight line head to back foot
- Keep body leaning at 45 degree angle
- March forward one step at a time keeping head and upper body still
- Start with 3-5 reps of 15-25yd march with :30-1:00 rest between reps
Key Points: Sled Sprints
- Same body position as above
- Sprint as fast as possible
- Start with 6-10 reps of 20-25yd sprints followed by :45-1:00 rest between reps
One of our member's favorite new toys at Dynamic are the Skiergs. These are a fantastic low-impact exercise that work mainly your abs, lats, legs and triceps.
- Start tall with hands overhead
- Initiate movement by simultaneously pulling handles back and down and sitting into squat
- Keep abs tight throughout
- Finish low with handles behind your hips
- Start with 5-10 sets of :20 of work followed by :40 of rest
#3 Med Ball Slams
One of our favorite forms of cardio is medicine ball work. They work well with all of our members, especially members who come to us with some kind of joint pain. We like these especially with our members with lower-body and/or low-back issues. Get some aggression out and get ready to sweat!
- Get as tall as possible and reach ball high overhead without leaning back
- Slam ball right in front of feet
- Finish slam in low squat position
- Catch and repeat as fast as possible
- Start with :20 of work followed by :40 of rest for 6-10 rounds.
Probably our most unique pieces of equipment is our Versaclimbers. Our members LOVE them. They are a fantastic cardio exercise that really taxes your legs. Our favorite part of the climber is it's adjustable resistance. Crank it up to work on strength and endurance or lighten the load and sprint.
- Keep posture tall throughout
- Alternate driving feet down to get the machine moving
- Using mainly legs throughout
- Keep motion short and sharp
- Start with :20 of work followed by :40 of rest for 6-10 rounds
Battling ropes might be our member's favorite cardio exercises. They are especially great for anyone with lower-body or back pain as all of the work is done through the arms, shoulders and core. Not only are they tough but they are a lot of fun!
- Stay in a low, athletic position throughout
- Using just your arms, make quick and even waves with the ropes
- Keep the ropes moving together or alternate arms
- Start with :15 of work :45 of rest for 6-10 rounds
The burpee is one of the most popular fat-burning, cardio drills on the planet and rightfully so -- they are tough and tax the entire body. The tough thing about burpees is that they require a great deal of mobility. For many, getting down to the floor can be a problem and can cause pain. For our members who do not have the ability to complete the full burpee, we simply shorten the range-of-motion by having them go off a bench rather than all the way to the floor. Win, win!
- Start tall with feet under hips
- Bend from the waist and bring hands to floor
- Keeping weight in hands, kick feet back to plank position
- Add push-up if possible
- Do not let hips sag when kicking legs out
- Bring feet back in, stand up, jump and reach
- Start with :15 of work followed by :45 of rest for 6-10 rounds
#7 Plyo Reverse Lunges
The plyo reverse lunge is your normal lunge on steroids. These are tough and really work the strength and endurance of your legs while getting your heart-rate elevated. The dynamic nature of the movement makes these also great for overall athleticism, coordination and balance.
- Start tall with feet together
- Step back with one leg and drop into low lunge position
- Do not let front knee travel over front toe
- As you come up, drive into ground with front foot
- Drive back knee up and hop with front foot
- Start with :20 of work followed by :40 of rest for 6-10 rounds/leg
#8 Mountain Climbers
We love mountain climbers for all of our members but they are especially great for members with bad knees and low backs. When done correctly, the plank position keeps the low back and spine, in a good, neutral position. By keeping your weight in your hands, stress is not placed on the knees. Build core strength and shred fat with the mountain climber.
- If new to the mountain climber, start with hands on bench or table vs. the floor
- Maintain a stable upper-body plank position throughout
- Keep hands placed directly under shoulders
- Quickly bring one knee forward at a time, while keeping the back leg straight
- Start with :15 of work followed by :45 of rest for 6-10 rounds`
Looking for a fantastic total-body cardio exercise? Enter the rowing machine.
These are great for burning fat as they work your entire body from your legs to your neck and burn a ton of calories.
- Start in seated position with knees bent and arms extended
- Initiate movement by pushing through your feet and driving your body back
- Finish movement with legs extended and arm handle pulled into chest
- Think legs push, arms pull and keep it one smooth motion
- Return to starting position by extending arms and bending knees
- Start with :30 of rowing followed by :30 of rest for 6-10 rounds
#10 Treadmill Sprints
One the best equipment investments we have made has been our curved, self-propelled treadmills. They actually do not have a motor therefore, similar to running on the road, you have to be the one to move the belt. The difference between our treadmills and traditional running or treadmill running is the curve feature in the front of the treadmill where your foot strikes. This actually dampens the impact forces, making these much more joint friendly for our members with bad feet, ankles and knees. We have even had people run on our treadmills who have not run in years because of pain. They are also great for those with elbow or shoulder issues. The low impact allows our members to do one of the world's greatest cardio exercises -- the sprints.
- Stay tall throughout
- Try to stay to front of treadmill
- Keep hands on railings if needed
- Focus on getting knees up
- Start with :15 sprint, jog or fast paced walk followed by :45 walk for 6-10 rounds.
#11 Bear Crawls
Think of the pause bear crawl as a more challenging, moving plank. We love crawls here at Dynamic as they work to strengthen and stabilize the entire torso. The movement at your hips and shoulders challenges your abs especially to stabilize your spine, rib cage and pelvis. These also work to get that heart-rate jacked up!
- Start on all fours with hands placed under shoulders and knees under hips
- Start by lifting knees off ground
- Progress forward by moving opposite arm and leg at same time no more than 3"
- Pause in between each rep
- Keep abs braced and do not let low back or trunk move
- Also move backwards to increase the challenge
- Start with 2-3 sets of 5-10yds
#12 KB Swings
Kettlebell swings are a staple for many of our members. The dynamic, fast paced motion makes the swing a great exercise for getting your heart-rate up and burning calories. The majority of the work comes from your hips, hamstrings and glutes making the swing a great choice for individuals with bad knees, feet and ankles. The hamstrings and glutes are two of the most important stabilizers of the knee so strengthening these two muscles is a must for improving knee pain.
- Before trying the KB swing, be sure to master the Kettlebell Deadlift or RDL first (shown in video)
- Make sure all the work is done through your hips
- Keep posture strong and tall throughout
- At the top position, finish tall with glutes squeezed and legs straight
- Start with 8-10 swings followed by :30-:45 of rest for 6-10 rounds
The headcutter might be our favorite total-body cardio and strength exercise. It taxes your shoulders, legs, and abs, while burning some serious calories and getting your heart-rate sky high. You will LOVE these!
- Start feet shoulder width with KB between feet
- Keeping chest tall, push hips back into deadlift position
- Drive through heels to lift KB
- As the KB comes up, pop it up and catch it at chest level
- Drop into squat by sitting back and pushing knees out
- As you come out of squat, press KB overheard
- Start with 10 reps followed by 1:00 of rest for 6-10 rounds
#14 Plate Press Diagonal
The squat with diagonal press is another fantastic conditioning exercise that also incorporates your upper-body and adds a rotational component - great for improving core strength. Start light as theses are tough!
- Holding a plate, start in low squat position
- As you stand up rotate hips and back foot and press plate up
- Finish with arms straight and plate up at 45 degree angle
- Quickly return to starting position
- Alternate sides
- Start with 5 to 8 rounds of :20 of work and :40 of rest
#15 Farmer Carries
The farmer carry is a favorite amongst our members. Think of these as weighted and moving planks. Walking with weights is a great way to improve the strength of your grip, shoulders, core and hips. Carries challenge you to control your spine and aid in improving core stability and even improve cardio by elevating your heart-rate. We love to do these right after another high-intensity cardio exercise like burpees or bike sprints.
- Start with 2 kettlebells or dumbells in hands
- Squeeze weights hard and stay tall
- Keep shoulders back and abs braced
- Do not allow weights to move around
- Start with 3 sets of 40-50 yd walks