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60-Second Cardio Moves

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3. Reverse Disco Step 
Starting Position: Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, legs placed wider than the hips and feet turned outward. Place both hands on your hips. 

Action: Breathe deeply and reach your left arm across your chest at a diagonal toward the ceiling. Pull your left hand down and across the front of your body toward the floor as you tap your right toes behind your left foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on this side (pictured) OR switch sides repeatedly. 

Special Instructions: Move quicker and/or take larger steps to increase intensity. Slow down and make your movement smaller to decrease intensity. 

4. Step Touch with Double Punches 
Starting Position: Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed and elbows pointing behind you, palms next to your waist. You can place a resistance band, measuring tape, jump rope or other long object on the floor next to you as a guide (optional). 

Action: Breathe deeply as you step-touch side to side while punching both arms forward on each step to the side and pulling them back in to the starting position on each tap (touch). 

Special Instructions: If using a guide on the floor, step across it each time and monitor your footwork to avoid tripping. Be sure to move laterally without twisting or rotating your body. The wider you step to the side and the faster you move, the more intense this exercise will become. 

5. Twisty Hop 
Starting Position: Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, legs together, arms at your sides, and elbows bent 90 degrees with your forearms parallel to the floor in front of you. From there, twist from the waist so that your torso (and arms) turn to the right and your lower body turns toward the left. 

Action: This movement combines a twist with a hop. From the start position, hop with both legs together and land so that your lower body now points toward the right and the upper body twists to the left. Hop again, landing in the start position and repeat, twisting to the opposite side during each hop. 

Special Instructions: Because of the twisting nature of this exercise, practice caution or avoid this exercise completely if you have any lower back or hip problems. Make sure your back is straight and your abs are engaged at all times. When twisting your upper and lower body should always point in opposite directions of each other. Focus on that twisting coming from the waist. Hopping higher and/or faster will increase the intensity of this movement. 

6. Jumping Jacks 
Starting Position: Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, arms at your sides, and feet together. 

Action: Hop out with both feet while extending your arms out, forming an X with your arms and legs. Hop back in to the starting position (legs together, arms at your sides). Repeat. 

Special Instructions: Be sure to land softly, keeping the knees slightly bent to reduce impact. Move more quickly to increase the intensity. 

7. Mountain Climbers 
Starting Position: Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, legs together, and arms at your sides. Bend forward to touch the floor (bend knees if necessary), shift your weight into your hands, then jump or walk your legs behind you to start in a plank position (hands under shoulders, abs pulled in tight, body in a straight line). 

Action: Breathe deeply, keeping your back straight and abs engaged and "march" by bringing one knee toward your chest, return it to the floor, and then bring the opposite knee toward your chest. Repeat, continuously switching sides. 

Special Instructions: Keep your belly pulled in tight at all times and make sure your hips do not fall toward the floor or lift toward the ceiling as you move your legs. You can march in this position (pictured) for a lighter intensity or move more quickly into a jog or run to increase your intensity. 
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Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Check out her workout DVDs and read her blog posts.

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Member Comments

  • Ok, we have some contradictory information here. SP talks about short workouts being beneficial, but in the next breath says that if you don't work out for an hour a day, you're not doing enough. So what's the truth? I've been asking this question and have never gotten an answer. - 2/10/2015 11:05:49 AM
    I exercise after work, but that wasn't a choice. - 6/16/2014 9:44:07 PM
  • Perfect timing! I'm trying to fit short bursts of exercise in first thing in the morning before leaving home. This will give me a nice variety, and I'll try to fit in the whole 10 min.

    Right now I'm doing squats while I brush my teeth, some wall pushups, and some crunch moves.

    Thanks so much!! - 4/9/2014 8:37:39 AM
  • thanks for putting this together Nicole, great idea for quick 10 minute cardio! - 12/9/2013 12:25:48 PM
  • Hey this looks great Nicole!
    Was looking for a group of exercises to mix up my routine,
    Will try these out.

    Thanks for the tips. - 12/7/2013 4:31:57 PM
  • I'll try this. I'll do everything except those mountain climbers. I will make up my own move to sub for that one. - 12/7/2013 11:00:29 AM
  • I love this 10 exercise cardio. I work at home and I can do each one for 1 minute and get 10 min of exercise. This warms me up and allows me to keep the furnance off during the day. It also gets the blood moving and I get more done than sitting on my butt all the time. It is so handy to have the video right next to the exercise, It makes it much more user friendly. Thank you! - 11/20/2013 8:16:59 PM
  • This was really cute! Thank you Smiles all - 10/10/2013 1:14:15 PM
  • might sound silly, but how do you know if your 'abs are engaged'? send me a msg if you have the answer. thanks. - 10/9/2013 2:31:20 PM
  • It is such a helpful post! Thank you so much SP! This is exactly what I need, I can do all of these, and they can be done in various combinations that makes the workout better. I will squeeze them in whenever I can. - 10/9/2013 1:39:04 AM
  • JMB369
    First a big compliment to SP for showing the videos right next to the exercises. Too many times these are available only by clicking a link, and after two or three, I get tired of the process.

    Second, I feel sorry for all the nay-sayers. Yes there are a few among us with chronic joint problems that cannot be fixed, but as several people noted, IF you slowly build the muscles, and IF you continue these exercises over a long period of time, you can give muscular support to the joints that need it, especially knees, ankles and hips. Losing some pounds helps, too! I know several people in my age group (over 65) who started with very limited mobility and chair exercises, who are now walking several miles a day.

    Also, I recommend that those with joint pain look into stretching exercises, especially those recommended by Pete Egoscue or right here on SP. Many times pain around the knee and hip joints is actually caused by tight muscles that are pulling on the joint. In the case of the knee joint, especially the quadriceps, the ham strings and the IT band. SP just had an article the other day on using a foam roller to release the IT band.

    My SO has progressed from sitting down after half a dance because of knee pain to dancing for several hours! This has been a 2-year process. But here we are -- dancing several times a week and taking ballroom dance lessons. BTW, he is 74 and I am 73,

    Stop kvetching and start moving! - 10/8/2013 10:22:42 AM
  • About a week ago I started walking/jogging in place as I fix my hair in the morning. The workout is between 12 and 15 minutes every morning. Can't believe it never dawned on me before to to this! And with winter comin' on, it warms ya up nicely! - 10/8/2013 9:24:46 AM
  • wow - this looks like so much fun!

    Making time for a workout is easy for me but I have such a sedentary job that I think I'm going to incorporate these into my day anyway. - 10/8/2013 6:46:02 AM
  • I'd like to see more quick cardio moves for those of us who can't stress our knees or move our legs the way most of these do!! Any upper-body or seated cardio moves? - 7/13/2013 3:24:23 PM
  • I just did the moves in this article. I had trouble with a few but I did the best that I could with them. They are a great way to warm up and left me wanting more. :) Thank you. - 7/11/2013 10:04:30 PM

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