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Home > Health > Fitness > Four great exercises to get your heart racing

Four great exercises to get your heart racing

You can stay in shape without having to go to the gym or needing equipment. Lounge brings you four intense exercises to try at home

Sometimes, a skipping rope is all you need. (Photo: Istockphoto)
Sometimes, a skipping rope is all you need. (Photo: Istockphoto)

Let’s face it, people still unsure about going to gyms. On the other hand, setting up a personal home gym is an impractical option, and a very expensive one at that. As a result, the best you can do is to stick to a regimen of mostly bodyweight exercises that involve minimum equipment, at least until covid vaccinations gathers steam and the world feels normal again. So here are my four favourite advanced exercises that would help anyone stay in shape (or even get in shape). When done in high repetitions, each of these exercises turn into self-contained workouts. When used in combination with other exercises, these help in recruiting multiple muscles while also speeding up the heart rate enough to count as an aerobic workout.

Burpees

Even the very sight of this word inspires fear in me because each and every muscle and part in the body goes to work for this exercise, especially when one performs the chest-to-floor full burpees. It is an extremely useful exercise to have in your repertoire because it can seamlessly fit into any kind of training regimen. It can easily be a part of your warm-up or HIIT workout, and can also become a workout in itself. When added to any exercise, burpees just take them to the next level: try the burpee pull-ups, the burpee muscle-ups and the burpee box jumps. Here are some workouts for you to try.

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As a warm-up (3 rounds)

10 burpees

10 squats

10 sit-ups

As a HIIT session (50 rounds)

1 burpee

2 squats

3 pushups

(This one is fun. Go for 100 rounds if you can get to 50 easily)

As a workout

100 or 200 burpees

Box Jumps

This is an explosive movement that not only tests your strength but also your flexibility and coordination. You start from the ground and jump onto the middle of a box. Start with a short box and as you gain confidence increase the height. Aim to land on the box in one smooth movement, and try to be light on your feet. Consciously engaging the core will ensure this smooth movement and landing. By the time you are done with just 10 on a decently challenging 24-inch box, your heart would also be racing. Try the following workouts.

As a warm-up (4 rounds)

5 box jumps

7 pushups

9 kettlebell swings

As a HIIT session (10 minutes)

12 Box jumps

9 Toes to bar

6 Push-ups

3 Pull-ups

As a workout

100 Burpee-box jumps

Double Unders

To float like a butterfly, boxers use skipping extensively in their training. Double Unders are the next level of skipping. Instead of the rope revolving once every jump, it does so twice which means you have to work on your rhythm and hand-foot coordination to master this movement. Double Unders get your heart rate up much faster than regular skipping, so they are a great cardio workout if you are pressed for time. With practice, you will learn to jump higher and rotate your wrists faster that make the move smoother, but the initial attempts are bound to frustrate you. So, be calm and carry on, as they say. After seven years, I am still trying. Try the following workouts.

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As a warm-up (3 rounds)

50 Double Unders

10 pushups

10 squats

10 superman

As a HIIT session (5 Rounds)

100 Double Unders

15 Kettlebell swings

25m walking lunges

15 Burpees

25m walking lunges

15 Tricep dips

As a workout

1,000 Double Unders

Sprints

You might think this is the easiest of the lot on this list but wait till you rush through just 10 sprints of 100m each and then see how your quads are burning and how hard your heart is pounding. Sprints don’t just target the quads, they’re excellent at burning body fat too. A friend of mine in his late 40s, an ex-CEO of a sports events firm, lost over 10 kg with a thrice-a-week routine of sprint-centric workouts over a span of eight months. Just one thing, please warm up before embarking on any sprints, otherwise you are likely to end up with a pulled muscle. From pure sprinting to fartlek and HIIT, sprints are extremely adaptable in all kinds of fitness routines. Try the following workouts.

As a HIIT session (30 minutes)

1 minute sprint

1 minute jog

5 rounds for time

100m sprint

10 pushups

10 sit-ups

10 squats

(60 seconds rest between each round)

As a workout

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15x100m sprints (120 seconds rest between each sprint)

Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.

  • FIRST PUBLISHED
    02.02.2021 | 10:00 AM IST
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