Cardio alternatives to running at home for women in 2023

Cardio workout is the most effective way to reduce fat, achieve and maintain fitness condition. Cardio workouts are the best way to wake up every muscle in your body and activate your whole body. It involves any kind of exercise, including walking, running, swimming, mountain climbing, jumping rope, dancing, and many more, where the heart reaches 60 to 85% of the maximum heart rate.


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Cardio alternatives you can do at home

Certain types of cardio workouts, usually with moderate intensity, can lead to a reduction in recovery time after a workout. Sometimes a short period of your best cardio workout can be as effective as one hour of cardio, especially if your goal is to lose weight. In addition, take a look at some of the best cardio workouts you can do:

HIIT: high-Intensity interval training

Not only HIIT is good for your cardiovascular health, but it will also help you improve your core strength. HIIT is an exercise that consists of combining basic functional exercises that are performed at intervals in order to achieve extremely high intensity, while the break lasts extremely short. This type of training requires only your body weight. Examples of HIIT training are:

  • 1 minute of maximum load doing squats with your own weith, with 1 minute of active rest. Repeat this in 5 series. Training should last about twenty minutes.


You can do different exercises with a kettlebell, where you can hold it in one or both hands and go through various exercises such as sumo squat, single-arm kettlebell swing, single-arm kettlebell row, and more. 

If you don’t have a kettlebell at home or you don’t want to invest in one, you can replace it with a 5kg bottle of water. Some exercises with kettlebell include:

1. Single-arm kettlebell swing

How to do it: You are at a semi-squat starting position. You hold the kettlebell with one hand which is located between the legs. With the swing of the hips, the contraction of the muscles of the hamstrings, gluteus, and quadriceps, the kettlebell is lifted upwards.

2. Squats

How to do it: Open your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width. Take a kettlebell with your arms outstretched. Do a squat with your hips back, and back straight. The kettlebell can lightly touch the floor and return to the starting position


Jumping rope is a better cardiovascular exercise than running because the arms are activated and the entire body is in motion. It is a great cardio workout at home. 

There are many ways to jump rope, from a simple way to criss-cross. When you feel ready, you can switch to more complex combinations. Rope jumping can burn 15 to 20 calories per minute. You should go easy on the rope and stay within your fitness level the entire time.

Rope Jumping
Rope Jumping

🚨DANCING. The best cardio alternative to running

Dancing is the best cardio alternative you can do at home (you just need to watch how toned are the body of the dancers). You can burn calories and lose weight with fun music and rhythm. 

Dancing is a great way to shape your body and emphasize curves. In 30 minutes of dancing, you can burn from 200 to 300 calories. In only 20 minutes, you can do a cardio routine that is not as boring as running. 

Our uSensual Club program offers different kinds of dancing you can choose from, including bachata, belly dance, salsa, kizomba, chair dance, and many more. So what are you waiting for? 

uSensual Club: 300+ active members


A small, and cheap part of every workout, an elastic exercise band is the best addition to your workout to maintain and increase condition at home. It is generally known that resistance training (weights) is one of the most effective ways to develop muscle mass, but also to maintain it. In order to be able to perform many different exercises, you will need different elastic bands. They differ in width and thickness.

The thickness determines the level of resistance, the thinner the elastic band, the weaker the resistance. The length will depend on which kind of workout you are doing. It would be good to buy several different variants so that they can be used with different exercises and contribute to the proper development of different muscle groups. There are two types of elastic bands, including large for the whole body, and booty bands.

You can do exercises for the lower body, to build the leg muscles, as well as for the entire body.


1. Side steps

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the band over the knees. Take a step aside and repeat 10-15 times with each leg.


Side squat
Side squat

2. Squats

How to do it: Place the band in the same position as the previous exercise in a squat position. Do simple squats and repeat 15-20 times.



3. Reverse Lunges

How to do it: Your start posture should be in a lunge position. Stand with one foot on the elastic band and grasp the ends with your hands. Take 10-15 steps with each leg.


Banded Reverse Lunges
Reverse Lunges

If you don’t have heavier weights, do more repetitions and minimal breaks between sets and exercises. Do supersets, which means that you do the exercises one after the other without a break between them. While from one superset to another there is a break of 45 to 60 seconds. For better results do 3-6 series of each superset.

VIDEO: Best Home Workout Equipment Every Lady Should Have

What is a cardio workout and why is it important?

For some people it is a passion, for others, it is just a scary word. However, cardiovascular training is a key component that should not be left out of your fitness program. Cardiovascular activity is any movement that increases heart rate and blood circulation throughout the body. Regardless of the form, every cardio leads to burning of excess calories. In addition to this, there are a number of health benefits that regular cardio training offers, including:

  • Improved heart function;

  • Fast metabolism;

  • Improved hormonal balance;

  • Improved recovery ability;

  • Increased core strength;

  • Better blood flowing;

  • Diabetes management, and more.

According to WHO statistics, you should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity training throughout the week.

If you are not a fan of cardio exercise or do not want to spend an hour training every day, you can make your own fitness plan during the day. Three times a day for ten minutes of brisk walking with other daily activities will burn enough calories and make you feel better. Practice brisk walking from the bus station to the office, and climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator. Also, if you have some kind of injury there also some cardio exercises you can do, including swimming, cycling, step aerobics for better recovery.

If you want to gain weight, try to minimize the cardio workouts. This doesn’t mean you should avoid it completely, but you can start each workout with 20-minute cardio and then focus on strength training with weights to build your muscles.


Move Safe At Home: injury prevention

Starting with exercises, whether at the gym or at home, can have certain risks, i.e. injuries. If you choose to train at home, then you shouldn’t blame the exercises. Common mistakes people do when they start working out at home are not enough space in the room where they are training. and thus they don’t perform the exercises correctly. In addition, take a look at the things you should do when doing cardio workouts at home:

  • Clean the space to move freely

Having objects in your place and not having enough space, can be the major reason to get injured during your workout. When starting, make sure you have plenty of space in the room, especially if you are doing cardio workouts. They require bigger motion sometimes.

  • Safe clothes and shoes

It is important to choose exercise clothes carefully so you can move as freely as possible and avoid infection. Choose T-shirts and pants or leggings that will allow you to move easily. If your movements are limited, then it will be difficult for you to exercise properly. It is therefore advisable to wear something that is not too wide, but not too tight. That’s why it’s best to buy special sports t-shirts, leggings, shorts, in special sports shops for sports and fitness equipment. Also, choosing the perfect shoes will help you to avoid any kind of injury. Good shoes can ease the impact on your step, can improve your performance and you can do more quick moves easily. Non-slippery and cushioning shoes are the perfect shoes to improve the results of your workout.

  • Check the mat

Doing a cardio workout in your home can be really challenging sometimes. Proper mat plays an important role too. Your mat has to be stable, comfortable and with the grip so it’s not moving on the floor while you move. This will prevent injuries and you are not going to slip. If your mat is not stable and moving, is better to the your cardio only on the floor or carpet if it’s big and is not moving.

ABS (1)
  • Warm up

Warming up before training is something that you should always do no matter which kind of exercise you do. You can probably injure yourself more easily if you don’t stretch and warm up your muscles. With the warm up you enable the joints and connective tissues to become stronger along with the muscles. Examples of warm up exercises are ankle mobility, hip opener, shoulder pass-through, neck circles, spine windmills, and many more.

  • Beginner in the fitness

If you are a beginner, don’t force yourself with weight training or long cardio workouts. You should be careful after training to not stand up too fast to avoid dizziness. Start with light exercises to gain some condition and endurance.

  • Drink water

There is an unwritten rule that during the day we should drink at least 8 glasses of water, and in case of physical activity, we should increase that amount. Physical activity has a great impact on electrolyte status. Drinking water, especially if you are physically active, is an ideal way to replenish lost electrolytes and maintain water and electrolyte homeostasis.

  • Eat before and after training

A proper and balanced diet can give you more strength and energy and have a better and more effective workout. On the other hand, it will help your body to regenerate muscles much easier after strenuous exercise. It is best to have your last meal 2-3 hours before training. Nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates can help the body to regenerate and adapt more easily after training. It is important to eat after a workout, but it does not matter when because muscle regeneration and muscle building do not depend on how quickly you consume nutrients after a workout.

  • Stretch on end

Stretching after each workout will help a lot in improving the flexibility of all muscles. Additionally stretching after the end of your workout helps reduce muscle soreness the next day. This is because stretching increases circulation and blood flow to the muscles.

Cardio alternatives to running
stretching reduce muscle soreness

Are Cardio alternatives good for burning fat or gaining muscles?

Cardio exercises are good for burning calories, losing weight, and improving heart health. But you need to know that overdoing cardio can prevent the growth and development of muscle mass. Cardio exercises like squat jumps, jumping jacks, and the one mentioned above, are good for burning fat, but also are good for toning your muscles and improving your endurance. If you want to build muscles you need to do strength training with progressive overload, and to limit your cardio training to 3 times per week. 

Click here to read my ultimate guide to grow your gultes at home.


There are many cardio alternatives to running that you can try at home. These are just as effective as running and help in toning your muscles building strength, and burning calories. If you want to start with physical activity that will be a part of your daily routine, you need to make your activities fun and adjust to your fitness level and daily tasks. 

There are fun alternatives to boring cardio workouts, which will suit your body and become a habit.


  • I hate running, what can I do as a replacement?

    If you hate running, don't worry. Great alternatives to running that are great for burning calories are HIIT: high-Intensity interval training, kettlebell workouts, rope jumpong, walking. But one of the best, according to many researchers, is dancing.

  • What cardio I can do at home?

    You can dance, jump rope, do supersets, different variations of burpees, squat jumps as part of a cardio circuit, and more.

  • What cardio is the best if I want to gain weight?

    You need to do various exercises so that your body can successfully build muscle mass. To build your curves and muscles, combining body weight exercises with banded exercises, HIIT and dancing would be the best cardio alternative at your home to gain weight in your glutes and legs for example.

  • Should I do cardio if I want to gain muscles?

    If you want to gain muscles, replacing normal running with cardio alternatives is a must. Running will make your muscle look longer and smaller in volume, and your legs will look slim. Instead of hypertrophy (growing process), by running you will lose muscles. If your goal is to gain muscles, instead of running, you should go for HIIT training, body weight, weight and banded exercises, rope jumping and dancing. This will grow your muscles, instead of shrinking your muscles down.

  • What cardio exercise is the best for fat loss?

    Running, swimming, jumping rope and dancing.

    Source: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=41&ContentID=CalorieBurnCalc&CalorieBurnCalc_Parameters=160



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