Can’t squeeze in a whole workout? You have time for this.
I clearly need to do some mobility and injury-prevention work, but I’m also craving the blood flow and mood lift that comes from cardio. Today, I’ll be spending a few minutes doing skaters, a surprisingly fun heart-pounding move that — as a bonus — makes me feel like a modern dancer, leaping from one side of the room to the other as quickly and, ideally, gracefully, as I can. Skaters are a bit like a jumping lateral lunge, so they strengthen the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and abdominals, and help improve your balance, even as they challenge your cardiovascular system.
If you’d like to try them, consider spending a few moments doing bodyweight squats or marching in place first to ease your body into movement before jumping in.
Then, “skate”: cross your left leg behind your right leg so it hovers just over the ground, keeping your right leg bent about 90 degrees. Extend your right arm out to the side and cross your left arm across your body (picture a speed skater). Jump to the other side, reversing the position of your arms and legs.
You can skate continuously for however much time you can keep up good form, or try something like a Tabata interval (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes). If you have knee issues or this move just doesn’t feel good to you, try something lower impact that will still elevate your heart rate, like marching, knee drives, or shadowboxing (which can also be done seated).
Find more no-equipment cardio moves here:
As Elemental’s executive editor and an ACE-certified personal trainer, beginning today I’ll be bringing you a simple move each Monday to start your week on the right foot. See you next week.