A cardio circuit for people who hate running

Are you looking for a killer cardio routine but hate the idea of running? Pounding pavement can feel a lot like a punishment that wears down your patience and joints. And while running is superior at sizzling calories, there are other less mind-numbing cardio circuits that will yield the same results.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) revs the heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories in less time. Unlike steady-state cardio, HIIT alternates between short bursts of all-out exertion and rest. This method scorches the same amount of calories as a 60 minute run, but in half the time.

Replace your next run with this total-body cardio challenge (rest for 60 seconds between exercises and repeat entire circuit three times):


  • To assess if your jump rope is the correct length for you begin by standing in the middle of it and pull the sides up until the rope is taut. The top of the handles should fall somewhere between the shoulders and armpits.

  • Once you’ve found the proper rope length, skip for 60 seconds or counts. Protect your joints by landing lightly on the balls of your feet for each repetition.




  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Hinge back at the hips, reaching the arms out in front of the body.

  • Swing your arms for momentum as you explosively jump up. Land softly on the midfoot and heels as you return down to a partial squat position. Repeat 10-12 times.


  • For beginners, start with a lighter kettlebell weight until you’ve mastered this move.

  • Firmly grasp the kettlebell by the handle and simultaneously swing it back between the legs as you bend slightly at the knees and hinge back at the hips. Keep your back flat and gaze upward to avoid hunching forward. It’s important to remember that this is not a squat, rather a shallow bend at the hips.

  • Powerfully thrust your hips forward, squeezing your glutes tightly as you elevate the kettlebell from between the legs to shoulder height. While this may seem like an upper body exercise, it is the lower body that’s generating the force necessary to move the weight. Repeat 10-12 times.


  • Stand tall with your shoulders back and abs engaged.

  • Run in place, driving your knees up toward your chest while quickly pumping your arms. Continue for 60 seconds.


  • From a standing position, drop down into a plank, placing the hands and feet wide for stability.

  • Lower the chest down for a push-up then back up to a plank pose.

  • Jump the feet up toward the hands and drive through the heels to return to the starting stance. Repeat 10-12 times.

When it comes to cardio, you run the show.


This article originally appeared on Philly.com