Feel Fitter (and Stronger!) With This 20-Minute, No-Equipment Cardio Workout

POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Kelly / PeopleImages

When you think of cardio, you probably think of something pretty cut and dry, like a 20-minute jog or walk. But you don’t need to leave home or own a treadmill or bike to get your heart rate up – not when you can pull together some simple bodyweight exercises like the ones you’ll find here.

“The difference between a strength training workout and a cardio one is that, with cardio, you should focus on getting in a higher number of reps,” explained Le Sweat founder Charlee Atkins, CSCS, who created this workout as part of POPSUGAR’s 4-Week Workout Challenge. “Cardio exercises are also more agility- or movement-based to help elevate your heart rate and challenge your cardiovascular system.”

For this workout, focus on exactly that: putting the moves together to get your heart pumping without putting too much strain on your muscles. The lower-intensity nature of these exercises will help your body actively recover for your next strength training session.

20-Minute, No-Equipment Cardio Workout

Directions: Complete each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by a 10-second recovery. You’ll do three rounds total with a one-minute rest in between rounds. Before you start, do this dynamic warmup to get your muscles loose and cool down with these post-cardio stretches. Atkins also recommends foam rolling before and after workouts.


  • Skips
  • Seal jacks
  • Reverse lunge and knee drive
  • Butt kicks
  • Lateral high knees
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