Best Cardio Exercises

Question

With my gym closing I lost the ability to bike, push and pull sleds etc. Worse, I lost my job so it’s not like I have any $ to buy one.

What kind of cardio can I do besides jog? I’d sprint, but I pulled a hamstring last time doing that and am reluctant to do it again.

Thoughts?

Answer

I have a lot of thoughts, but the first is performing conditioning work vs. “cardio.”

It’s the difference between “working out” and training IMO.

Fact is, conditioning work is anaerobic and the better you get at it the better your traditional long distance, long duration stuff will be.

It’s also interesting that the reverse is NOT true. So conditioning should almost always be performed over blanket “cardio”, or at least what passes for it.

Sprints aren’t out of the picture BTW, because hill sprints will bring your injury risk down considerably.

You can sprint as hard as possible, and the degree of difficulty is similar to pulling a weighted sled on a flat surface – ain’t easy.

As you’ll learn, neither is walking back down the hill before performing your next sprint up it.

Provided you have a partner, pushing and pulling your car is GREAT exercise.

Now don’t be a dimwit like someone I suggested this to, where he put his car in neutral and pushed all right. Pushed it so hard it kept rolling down a slight decline leading into the parking lot he was using.

Whoosh, bye bye car as he failed to realize even a SLIGHT decline causes BIG problems if nobody is in the car to break it.

Fortunately nobody got hurt, so I hope this PSA keeps someone from making the same mistake

You can take a 25, 35 or 45lb plate outside and toss it skyward. Walk over, pick it up and rinse wash repeat. You won’t believe what this takes out of you.

Obviously, do this on grass so you don’t damage concrete or your plates

The great Vasilly Alexeezv used to take lightly loaded barbells outside and perform this exercise, and on many counts he was/still is the world’s strongest man.

If you have a sufficiently strong rope, pulling your car (with your arms) is an interesting and thoroughly exhausting exercise. The same advice applies however, for having someone in the car.

Running stairs or bleachers is likewise an excellent exercise, and doubly so with even a 20lb weight vest. You won’t believe how heavy that gets BTW, after just a few steps.

Another favorite is loaded sandbag carries. I don’t’ care what you fill it with, but carrying a loaded bag is an incredible exercise in grip strength and cardiovascular endurance. You can do the same with a pair of 45lbs plates, mimicking a farmers walk of sorts.

Sledgehammer strikes are another excellent exercise, although I keep forgetting to do them. I can tell you after trying them just once, you won’t forget the unique feel. The act of swinging the sledgehammer overhead and slamming it down on something OVER and OVER and OVER is unique, and unlike any other conditioning work I’ve performed.

On days in between when you’re not feeling up to it, I would advise just going for a long walk. It may just be me and my flat feet, but jogging is nowadays a severely painful exercise. In particular, my shins, calves and lower back. Walking gives you 90% of the benefits of running (some say more), with all most ZERO injury risk.

Posted in
Coach Rob Regish

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to Superhumanradio.net for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.