No equipment, and no jumping — this 10-Minute Beginner Cardio Workout at home is for all fitness levels! Whether you’re a fitness beginner, pregnant, postpartum, recovering from an injury or just looking for a low impact way to raise your heart rate. Follow along as I coach you through five cardio exercises, tabata-style.
What is the best cardio workout for beginners?
One you’ll actually do!
Which is why I created this 10-Minute Beginner Cardio Workout; it’s quick, effective and a fun way to get some low impact, heart-pumping cardio.
I originally created this cardio workout at home when I was pregnant and looking for ways to raise my heart rate without jumping or running.
If you’re looking for more ways to raise your heart rate outside of walking and swimming — give this beginner cardio workout a try.
It will boost your heart health and make everyday tasks like climbing stairs easier. Not to mention, it’s a great way to burn some calories too.
This Cardio Workout At Home is great for:
Pregnancy and Postpartum
Recovering from an Injury
A Quiet, Apartment Workout or Nap Time Workout
Joint-Friendly Cross Training for High Impact Athletes
Using as a Dynamic Warm Up Before Strength Workouts
What makes this a good Beginner Cardio Workout?
Low Impact — kind on joints and reduces risk of injury
No Equipment — these five bodyweight cardio exercises are accessible to everyone using just your bodyweight.
Timed Intervals — which means you move at YOUR pace. You’ll complete as many reps of each bodyweight exercise as you can in 20 seconds, before resting. If you’re a beginner or just getting started on your fitness journey, you can slow down each cardio exercise and focus on using proper form.
This is a great postpartum cardio workout too (once you’re cleared for exercise).
How long should a beginner do cardio?
As a certified personal trainer I recommend 10 to 20 minutes of cardio for beginners, four to five times a week. And adding strength training 2-3 times a week if you can!
Making this 10-Minute Beginner Cardio Workout At Home a great place to start. Note, you can repeat it if you want a longer cardio workout.
10-Minute Beginner Cardio Workout At Home
Five of my favorite bodyweight cardio exercises combined in one challenging Tabata workout.
That means we’ll go all-out for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. No equipment needed and no jumping, which makes this a great workout for beginners, pregnancy, postpartum, or anyone looking for a low impact cardio workout at home!
None! Just your bodyweight.
That said, you add a set of light hand weights or dumbbells, or a mini loop resistance band(affiliate) around your thighs to increase the intensity.
Step Knee, Tap Back (alternate sides with each set)
1. 2 Jabs + Squat
Targets: Core, shoulders, back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
How to do 2 Jabs and Squat:
Start standing tall, feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent and core engaged.
Holding your arms up in a boxer position, fists clenched in front of your face.
Alternate punching each arm out in front of you (this is the “2 jabs” portion).
Then lower your hips down parallel to your knees to complete the squat.
Stand tall to return to the starting position.
Repeat for 20 seconds.
2. Lateral Jack Walks
Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, shoulders, arms and back.
How to do Lateral Jack Walks:
Stand with feet slightly sider than hips. Sit back and down a few inches into a loaded squat position.
Extend your arms out to your side (as if you’re about to give someone a giant hug).
Holding your loaded squat position, take two wide lateral steps to your right. With each step, pull your arms in, contracting the muscles in your chest, then open your arms back up (squeezing your shoulder blades).
Repeat this lateral squat step and jack motion to the left.
Stand with feet wider than hips, heels in and toes pointed slightly out (sumo squat stance).
Bend your knees to lower down into a squat, pushing your knees out towards your pinky toes as you drop your hips parallel to your knees.
At the bottom of your sumo squat, tap your fingers down, tapping the ground if it’s available to you.
Then drive through your legs to stand back up; think about squeezing your inner thighs together as you stand tall, legs straight; reaching both arms overhead. Option to add a calf raise at the top, raising your heels off the ground.
Repeat for 20 seconds.
4. Wide Knee Pulls
Targets: Core, abs, obliques, outer glutes, arms, shoulders and back.
How to do Wide Knee Pulls:
Start standing tall, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and core engaged, both arms raised overhead.
Pull your arms down towards your hips in a ‘goal post’ or with arms bent at 90 degrees.
As you pull your arms down, alternate driving your knees up and out to meet your elbow (wide knee drives). Thinking of crunching through your obliques as you strive for knee to elbow connection.
Alternate knee drives for 20 seconds.
5. Knee Drive + Tap Back (Rocking Horse)
Targets: Core, lower abs, hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, and arms.
How to do a Rocking Horse:
Start standing tall, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and core engaged.
Drive your left knee up towards your chest as you pull your arms down towards your knee. Thing of swinging your arms down to meet your knee. Return your left foot to the ground.
Then tap your right foot back about 6 inches behind you. Return your right foot to starting position.
Repeat this knee drive, tap back or rocking horse motion for 20 seconds on the right leg. Then you’ll perform set two on the left leg.
Looking for more Cardio Workouts At Home? Try these popular 10-15 Minute Cardio Workouts: