It’s finally here! The weather’s warming up, the sun is shining, and we can finally say that the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing summer. We’re more apt to spend our free time outdoors, soaking up the sun and enjoying life outside of our four walls.

Sadly, with the weather improving so dramatically, we tend to lose our motivation to stay indoors and get a good workout. Heck, we lose our motivation to work out, period. And who could blame you? I’d rather be outside on the beach than inside boosting my electric bill, or hitting the weights at a gym!

Fortunately, with these quick cardio workouts, you can get a quick and effective workout in without neglecting the joy of being outside during this glorious time of year. Ladies and gentlemen, I present a quick (see the tagline, here?), two-part outline for quick cardio workouts for these hot summer months:

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Quick Cardio Workouts

1. Start from the ground, work your way up, and then go back down.

It’s important to incorporate a multiplanar and multi-disciplined approach when creating your quick cardio workouts. Being that I’m all about high intensity (I am a CrossFit coach, after all), I’m a true believer that quick but efficient workouts are just as good, if not better, than a more drawn out exercise session.

When it’s perfect outside, you want to get your workout in, get back out and enjoy the remainder of your day. Below you’ll find an example of a circuit you can perform that demonstrates the above principle:

Directions:

Perform three rounds of the following circuit, going from exercise to exercise until you’ve repeated each in order three times.

Exercise

Work Duration

Rest Duration Between Exercises

Mountain Climbers

30 seconds

15 seconds

Squats

30 seconds

15 seconds

Jumping Jacks

30 seconds

15 seconds

Running High Knees

30 seconds

15 seconds

Burpees

30 seconds

15 seconds

As you can see, we start on the ground with Mountain Climbers, stay in the saggital plane with Squats, then incorporate a little of both the saggital and frontal planes with Jumping Jacks, working our way back down to the saggital plane with High Knees and finishing on the ground (and in the saggital plane) with Burpees.

quick cardio workouts

To look at it another way, we go from the ground with Mountain Climbers, do an exercise kind of ‘in the middle’ (Squats), and then go overhead with Jumping Jacks.

Then go back to the ‘middle’ with Running High Knees, and finish back on the ground with Burpees. Pick your own plyometric exercises by keeping the ‘Down-Up-Down’ mentality, but keep the next part of the plan in mind…

2. Keep your movements functional!

What’s the best way to get as lean and shredded as quickly as possible? By performing constantly varied FUNCTIONAL movements executed at high intensity! As you can see by the template above, this quick cardio workout only includes high intensity functional movements.

The variance is there in terms of the positioning and the multiplanar approach (the ‘Down-Up-Down’ aspect) you have to take to complete the circuit. There’s a reason CrossFit athletes are completely ripped. Functional movements incorporate multiple muscle groups in ways that mimic real-life motor recruitment patterns.

Take Squats, for example. You sit down and stand up multiple times a day, whether it’s on the couch, at your desk, or on the toilet! Burpees? If you’re on the ground and need to stand up, it doesn’t get much more efficient than that!

I wish you luck in your endeavor to waste as little time in the gym as possible this summer. Now do me a favor and HIT IT! Another gorgeous day is wasting away because you’re spending too much time online reading this. Just remember to bring some healthy drinks for summer.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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