Cardio Workouts at Home

“Change happens through movement and movement heals.”

– Joseph Pilates

To get the most out of each cardio routine workout we recommend using specific heart rate training zones to maximize your time and energy.  To get started do you know your resting heart rate (RHR)?  To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to calculate your beats per minute.  Click here to enter your age and RHR to calculate your training zones.  Depending on your fitness goals decide which training zone best suits your goal(s).  Beginner (easy) 60-75%, Intermediate (AT) 85-90%, Advanced (VO2Max) 90-100%.  

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Speed Drill

  1. Draw a ladder design on the floor with chalk or tape. You decide how long and large to make this ladder.  
  2. Walk through the steps of the ladder by putting one foot in a square, then bringing the other foot into the same square.
  3. Move to the next square and continue until you reach the end of the ladder. Turn around and repeat for 1 to 3 minutes.  Take your pulse to see if your moving as fast as you should based on your specific heart rate training zone.  
  4. Repeat this same drill but this time hop from each box on both feet again for 1 to 3 minutes.  Take your pulse.  
  5. Repeat this same drill but this time hop on one feet barefoot from each box again for 1 to 3 minutes. Switch feet and repeat.  Take your pulse.  
  6. Repeating the hopping drill with both feet but hop backwards keeping your eyes on the horizon to avoid dropping your head.  Note if both feet land on the ground at the same time of if one foot lands before the other.  Take your pulse.  


  1. Begin at the bottom of a set of stairs. Step on the first stair with your left foot.
  2. Then, lift your right foot off the floor and hold it in the air for one second.
  3. Step down with your right leg, then the left.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side and repeat for 5 to 30 minutes.  Take your pulse to see if your moving as fast as you should based on your specific heart rate training zone.  
  5. If you have stairs in your home or apartment building walk or jog up the stairs for 5 to 30 minutes continuously to get your heart rate elevated.  

Water Aerobics

For those clients who have a warm swimming pool in your backyard time to put on your swimsuit and go for a swim.   Water aerobics is great for many reasons specifically pre/post rehab for hips, knees and ankles as well as reducing arthritis and joint pain.  Water aerobics helps build strength and endurance in shallow water. Let’s get started! 

A) Treading Water

  1. Start with treading water in the deep end of the pool for 30 to 60 seconds in one direction and then reverse the egg beater motion for another 30 to 60 seconds.  
  2. Both hands above the water repeating step 1.  
  3. Both elbows above the water repeating step 1.  

B) Legs Raises 

  1. Start in the shallow end.  Balance on one leg with both hands on your hips to keep your hips level and to avoid hiking one hip.  
  2. With a straight leg for a 5 count lift your leg out to the side laterally.  
  3. Pause for 5 seconds with leg extended and reach out with your heel bone away from your body. 
  4. Return to starting position for a 5 count.  
  5. Repeat leg lifts for 1 to 2 minutes on each leg before switching sides.  

C) High Knees (static or dynamic) 

  1. Start in the shallow end.  Place both hands on your hips to keep your hips level and to avoid hiking one hip.  Float one knee up at a time keeping a neutral spine. 
  2. Move at your own pace playing with the speed/tempo to increase your heart rate.  
  3. Stay in place with marching movement or move from one end of the pool to other.  

D) Single Leg Circles 

  1. Start in the shallow end.  Place both hands on your hips to keep your hips level and to avoid hiking one hip. Extend one leg out in front of your body with toes pointed.  
  2. Draw small circles in the clockwise direction and then reverse the movement in the counterclockwise direction.  Practice for 1 to 2 minutes before switching legs and repeating this series. 
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your extended foot flexed (toes towards your nose) again for 1 to 2 minutes each leg. 

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Biking & Tai Chi

For a low-impact workout, consider bicycling (outdoor or on a trainer).  We recommend using the training heart rate zones to help you stay focused.  Tai Chi is another great movement option to reduce any added stress placed on your joints and body if suffering from arthritis or limited range of motion.  

These are just a few moves to keep you moving. We have additional blog post specific to pilates, pre/post natal, bone building for osteoporosis/osteopenia, mindful meditation, restorative yoga therapy, partner and endurance training.  We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach and blend our knowledge and training of movement, nutrition, massage therapy and traditional chinese medicine.  

We love teaching mindful movement and are here to support you in your journey. We offer customized online remote training from anywhere in the world. Contact us today to get started and learn to move with less pain and greater ease. We look forward to partnering with you and answering your movement questions and/or concerns.   

Assumption of the Risk: By attempting any of the exercises, you do so at your own risk.  We make no representations, guarantees or warranties that the information or exercises on this blog are appropriate for you or will result in improvements of your medical condition or function.  

Not medical advice or physical therapy.  This content is intended to provide information and instructions on general exercises that may help increase strength, mobility, and function for specific areas of the body.  It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining a medical diagnosis or medical or physical therapy advice from a qualified licensed provider.  You should seek medical advice from a qualified physician or physical therapist before trying any of the exercises or self-treatment suggestions on this blog, particularly if your pain is from a traumatic injury or event.