Who says resistance training and cardio exercises don't go together?
Contrary to what you may have heard on social media or from your friendly neighborhood "bro" scientist, incorporating cardio exercises to supplement your existing resistance training program makes for a quick and efficient workout.
You don't even have to overhaul your existing workout completely - all you need is to make several adjustments to your strength regimen that will help you increase your heart rate, sweat off more calories, and boost your cardiovascular functions.
It makes perfect sense, too - you don't want to spend more time in the gym than you have to. You want your workouts to be efficient, productive, and fast.
That said, if your focus is centered on gaining mass and building muscle alone, you may not want to tweak your workout - you don't need much of it, anyway.
However, if you want to lose weight, drop fat, and improve your muscle definition (say, that six-pack you've been putting off for years), integrating cardio exercises is a must. It's not the most powerful combination for weight loss for no reason - it's the perfect balanced routine.
Are you ready to get the ideal result from and raise the intensity of your workouts? Let's get started by incorporating these five cardio exercises to your existing strength regimen.
Walking / Jogging / Sprinting
The simplest cardio exercise you can add to your workout is also one of the most powerful ones: walking. It keeps you in shape, lowers your cholesterol, promotes healthy bones, raises your mood and spirit, and lowers risks of heart disease and diabetes.
And if that's not enough, studies suggest that walking and other similar aerobic exercises prevent memory loss.
All you need is a regular road bike or even a stationary bike to get started. If you prefer to work out from the comfort of your own home, you can also use a get a stationary bike - it's super convenient.
If your budget doesn't allow it, just jump on an exercise bike at the gym, working in a 20-min cycle before hitting the deadlifts or squats won’t affect your powerlifting too adversely.
Skip Some Rope
Don't take jumping rope lightly - after all, even former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson regularly skipped rope as part of his grueling training regimen. And for a good reason, too: the jumping rope is a fantastic way to get your metabolism firing, and your heart rated started up the right way.
Jumping rope is also easily integrated with strength and resistance training, especially in between sets, regardless of what muscle groups you are targeting during your workout. It's a low-impact, high-intensity exercise that promotes athleticism and flexibility, and also develops your calf muscles immensely. What's there to skip?
Hit the Rowing Machine
You can't go wrong with an exercise that works out every muscle group in your body
- one that has existed ever since humans traversed the seas.
It's an excellent idea to hit the rowing machine in between your jogging or sprints, as
it fires up your metabolism and helps you lose fat throughout your workout.
Pace yourself appropriately - you don't want all your energy allocated to just sprints and rows
and run out of gas for your strength training exercises.
Do Some Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are another great high-intensity, low-impact exercise along the lines of jumping rope. Such exercises help you burn fat without reducing your muscle mass, as well as reducing
the risk of contracting injuries that high-impact exercises tend to promote.
Fit your jumping jacks during your rest periods when strength training - an excellent practice is to perform as many you can within 30 seconds during whatever breaks you allow yourself.
Kick Those Knees Up
Like the rest of our suggestions, this exercise offers a low-impact exercise that does a lot to burn calories while retaining your muscle mass.
High knees can be done anytime, anyplace, anywhere with little regard for devices or machines.
However, take note to save this exercise for when you're not doing leg day - as high knees take a lot out of your legs, it may be better to save this for when you're targeting other muscle groups.
Strength and cardio are a match made in heaven, even though you won’t lift as heavy, your body will respond much better than if you were just lifting or running in isolation.
A balanced workout that incorporates cardiovascular exercises with the appropriate strength training program keeping the principles of proper for will get you the best results out of your workout, especially if your goals are to gain better muscle definition and lose weight. Start incorporating cardio to your routine today.