Fitness & Training, Workout at home

Your home cardio challenge

Cardio-training is an essential workout technique to improve both your sports performance and overall physical condition. With 5 exercises chosen to boost your cardio, spice up your home training sessions with a 30-day cardio challenge.

Cardio-training, a must for good sports performance


Cardio-training sessions should be integrated into any sports activity, no matter which sport is practised, to improve fitness and because of the health benefits:

  • Intended to increase the heart rate, cardio training sessions contribute to strengthening the entire cardiovascular system: Regulate blood pressure, increase respiratory capacity, improve oxygenation of the blood and so on.
  • They are the most effective and easy-to-use technique to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.
  • Easy to perform, cardio workouts are accessible to all and require little (or no) equipment.
  • They also improve reflexes and the body’s resistance to fatigue.
  • They allow you to burn calories.

For visible results, cardio-training activities must be part of your sports routine and be practised regularly. Start now by embarking on a 30-day cardio challenge, along with a balanced diet and good hydration. Before each session, warm up to ensure that your heart rate increases gradually and to avoid injury during these particularly dynamic cardio exercises! Also, remember to stretch after the workout session.

5 exercises without equipment to boost your cardio


Cardio exercises are often based on jumping or rapid movements that involve the whole body. Since they are varied, they will get you used to different ways of managing the workout. The principle of the challenge is to create a series of exercises that can be alternated over the weeks, like these 5 cardio exercises:

  • Jumping jacks: Stand up and jump by raising your arms as if you want to clap your hands above your head while spreading your legs. Return to the original position with a second jump. Jumping jacks are very simple to perform and raise the heart rate just as much as with a skipping rope!
  • Mountain climber: Combine cardio and abdominal training with the climber’s exercise. Position yourself as if doing push-ups, with your hands on the ground and resting on your toes. Bend one leg to bring the foot to chest level, keeping the other straight, then alternate both legs up and down, as if you are climbing a wall or mountaineering. When performed in quick sequence, these movements are a very effective cardio workout.
  • Burpees: Start squatting first, then while resting on your hands, extend both legs back to get into the plank position. Do a push-up and then bring your legs back to the initial position. Finish with a vertical jump with your arms in the air, and repeat!
  • High knees: Knee lifts simply consist of running on the spot while raising the knees towards the chest. You’ll soon be able to jog for hours!
  • Iceman: This exercise replicates the movements of a skater. Stand up and jump sideways to the right, with a landing on the right foot. Move the left foot backwards and put it about 1 metre to the right, pointing to the ground. Reverse the position by jumping to the left side.

Cardio challenge: My personalised training plan


To create your 30-day cardio challenge at home, plan to spend 20 minutes working out per day, with one day off per week. Take into account your physical abilities: A beginner athlete can’t train at the same pace as an experienced athlete. Increase your workout intensity gradually and listen to your body without going beyond your capabilities: Stop when talking during the exercise becomes difficult. You will be amazed at the obtained results in just one month.

Your special cardio challenge for beginners

For a first cardio workout with a fitness goal, choose 3 home training exercises from the ones listed above. First, test each movement independently to make sure that you can perform them correctly. At each session, do as many repetitions of each exercise as possible for 30 seconds and then move on to the next one. After every set of 3 exercises (i.e., after each 1 minute and 30 seconds of exertion) recuperate for one minute. If necessary, take a break between each exercise, but this won’t be needed for long. Each day, try to do more movements than in the previous session. Depending on the speed of your progress, you can also add more exercises to your circuit training.

Specially-created cardio challenge for experienced athletes

If you are an experienced athlete, this cardio challenge is aimed at improving your performance or burning even more calories. Evaluate your heart rate at resting and during exercise, as well as your target MHR (maximum heart rate) to calculate the percentage you need to progress. The principle of the challenge remains the same as for a beginner, but you can increase the challenge by experimenting with several parameters:

  • Do 5 difference exercises instead of 3.
  • Increase the number of rounds in your sessions.
  • Reduce your recovery time.
  • Try different cardio exercises to work even more muscles.

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.