This workout is one that is certain to make you sweat! Perfect for when you have very little time available in your schedule, but still want to get in a great workout, this cardio shred & sculpt workout will be just what you need.
Last weekend, I attended a truly incredible wedding for friends in Cincinnati. It was an event filled with friends from many phases of life – one huge reunion! It was so much fun and the wedding and reception were absolutely stunning. (Though, to be honest, I’ll likely be in recovery mode for the next few days catching up on sleep and rest until I’m back to 100%. Staying up too late catching up with my friends meant that my sleep did suffer a bit.)
Cardio Shred & Sculpt Workout
I created this workout as the perfect answer for what I needed this week. It strengthens and tones, while also incorporating a good portion of cardio. It kept me moving and sweating, but in a shorter period of time than my usual, hour-long workout. After this cardio shred & sculpt workout, I left the gym feeling accomplished and I could not wait to tackle the rest of the day.
Many of these movements can be completed in a variety of ways. Be sure to modify these exercises where necessary, and always speak with your doctor before trying a new workout. Your primary goal throughout this workout should be to focus on maintaining good form, no matter which modification you choose. Workouts are about doing what’s right for you at this moment, not about the person next to you. Keep this in mind while you’re going through your workout and make adjustments in real time where it makes sense.
Keep the pace up throughout the entirety of this workout (thus the cardio), but good form will make sure that your working the muscles correctly (thus, sculpt.)
Alternating Lateral Lunges (20 per leg)
In this move, do not overly lock your knees and always leave your weight in your heels. Feel free to add on a set of dumbbells for more cardio impact, such as pictured below, if you’re feeling extra powerful.
Keeping your legs wider than hid-width apart and hold your dumb bells at your shoulders. Keeping both feet flat on the floor, your head up, and your back straight, deeply bend one leg. You should feel like your booty is sticking out and like you are sitting back into a chair. Return to standing and repeat on the other leg.
Reverse Lunge / Balanced Knee Lift (20 per leg)
No matter how low you decide to go with your reverse lunges, make sure that you’re bending your knees in a path directly over your knees. When moving into your Balanced Knee Lift, keep your core tight because that will help you to maintain your balance.
Starting with your feet together, take a large step backwards. Maintaining most of the weight on your front foot and your core upright, deeply lunge. Using your core, straighten your front leg and raise your send leg until your knee is at an equal height to your hip. Step back again and repeat.
Push Ups (20)
When I’m doing push ups in this context, I usually don’t get picky about what type I’m doing and just complete regular push ups. But if you’re feeling like you’d like variety, feel free to do push ups on your knees, or perform wide or narrow arm push ups to work a different muscle group.
Maintain a tight core, keep your booty in line with the rest of your body, and do not perform modifications from directly on your knee cap (notice that little cartoon lady below is closer to her quad than knee cap.)
Side Plank Hip Dips (20 per side)
Similar to traditional planks, this one should be more of a core exercise than anything else. Don’t rush through these – maintain a tight core and slowly work your way through each rep for maximum effect.
From a traditional side plank, dip your hips low and slowly return to being in line with the rest of your body. Repeat.
Body Weight Tricep Dips (20)
Keeping your feet flat on the ground, your shoulders in line with your wrists, and your hands pointing towards your feet, deeply bend your elbows while using your triceps to do all of the work. Repeat.
For whatever reason, this move is by far the most difficult for me to perform with accurate form. Specifically, keeping my shoulders over my wrists. If you decide to level these up a bit, then feel free to extend your legs, which will put more weight into your arms. Either way, make sure that you’re actually bending your arms, keeping your hips relatively still, to make sure that you’re working the correct muscle group.
Similar to push ups, I usually stick to normal squats within this context, though I’ll sometimes mix it up and do one round of normal, one of narrow, and one of sumo to work all of the muscle groups and keep my cardio heart rate pumping. No matter which type you pick, make sure that you’re keeping your chest up and your knees are tracking right over your toes.
I love using the below image as a point of reference to make sure that I’m performing squats correctly. While it might be overly detailed for some, it provides a lot of great pointers to make sure that we’re not hurting our knees and back.
High Knees (20 per leg)
In this move, keep your core extremely tight and make sure that your getting each knee to hip height or higher. This should really be more of a core move than anything else. If you’re up to it, complete this move at a quick, almost running pace to maximize the cardio impact.
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