Ask The Expert: I Hate Cardio. What Can I Do Instead?
You know that large turf area in your gym? Become acquainted with it.
It’s no secret that cardio is great for your overall health and fitness, especially your heart, but when it comes to logging miles it can be an arduous task. So for those that don’t want to swim, run, bike, or row, here are five moves from Josh Mangan, a personal trainer at Republic Fitness, that you can incorporate into your routine. And for those that do enjoy cardio, in the traditional sense, these are great exercises to incorporate into a cross-training routine. See what we did there? There are many ways to think about exercise, and finding what works best for you is more than half the battle.
Ask the Expert: I hate cardio—what can I do instead?
The answer: Head to one of these gyms with turf, my friend.
1. Sled push: “These can be used as a great conditioning alternative for sprinting technique,” Mangan says. “You can choose your own intensity by loading a broad range of weight onto a prowler or sled, and the intensity can vary from a marching speed to an all-out sprint. Use this exercise for strengthening the back-side of the body.”
2. Sled pull: “Opposite of the push, the sled pull is another great variation for a strength-based cardio alternative. You can choose to use a waist belt. By sitting lower into the belt during the pull, you will create a killer quad burn as the distance accumulates,” Mangan explains. “You can also attach sled handles to the weight and focus more on upper back strength and stability by keeping the shoulders pulled back.”
3. Plate push: “To really get your heart rate up without being on the treadmill/elliptical, try a plate push,” Mangan says. “Place a weight plate on the turf and your hands on top and push for distance/time/speed. Try to stay low and drive forward with your quads and glutes.”
4. Agility ladder drills: “These are great for speed and agility development in athletes, but also a great conditioning tool for all populations. Mix in different drills such as the Icky Shuffle, crossover step, and many more,” Mangan says.
5. Mini hurdle jump variations: “The turf is ideal for plyometric drills such as these because of the optimal landing surface,” Mangan explains. “You can alter the intensity by using different hurdle heights, or by performing different drills such as single leg lateral jumps.”