A Guide to the Different Types of Cardio Workouts

If you feel tired of running all the time and want to switch up your daily cardio routine, try these different types of cardio workouts. In this handy guide, we’ll go over some cardio exercises that you can use with your home gym equipment, and we’ll teach you how to do them safely and correctly. Keep reading to add some variety to your fitness journey!

1. In-Place Workouts

Before diving into the cardio workouts that you can do with your gym machines, let’s start with in-place workouts. These stationary workouts are great warmups that you can easily incorporate into any routine for some additional cardio.

Running in Place

Running in place is a wonderful way to warm up before a high-intensity workout or add cardio reps in between sets. All you need to do is move your legs and body as if you are going to run, but instead of propelling yourself forward, you remain in place.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks utilize your upper and lower body to provide a great cardio workout. First, stand with your feet shoulder length apart and your hands above your head. Then, use a small jump to bring your feet together and your hands to your side. Then, jump again to return to your starting position. Speed this up, and then you have an amazingly effective cardio exercise!


Without a doubt, burpees are some of the most strenuous in-place cardio exercises. There are a few different versions, but we’ll just go over one. To begin, stand upright with your feet together, then use your knees to squat to the ground. Then, with your hands on the ground, jump and extend your legs backward until you are in the position you use for push-ups. Jump again, returning your feet and legs to your body, and stand up. Finally, perform a singular jump upward, returning to a standing position, and repeat the process again.

2. Treadmill Workouts

Every gym enthusiast needs a treadmill. Walking, jogging, and running on your treadmill are all effective cardio workouts that you can include in every routine. Add an incline to your treadmill or pick up the pace to make your cardio workout more challenging.

3. Stair Climber Workouts

If you have a stair climber machine, prepare yourself for some serious cardio workouts. If you don’t have a stair climber at home, you can also do these exercises on stairs in your home, at a park, or in a stadium. You can take the stairs one step at a time at a brisk but safe pace, or you can slow down and take them two steps at a time. The difficulty of your stair climber workout will depend on the speed and number of steps you take.

4. Stationary Bike Workouts

Biking is not only a great cardio workout, but it’s also a low-impact exercise, causing less stress on your knees and joints than felt in other activities like running. Depending on the stationary bike you have, you can control the speed, resistance, and distance to create effective workouts. In addition to strengthening your heart, riding a stationary bike will also build your leg muscles and work out your lungs.

5. Rowing Workouts

Any fitness enthusiast knows never to underestimate a rowing machine. While it may seem like an easy workout at first, the longer you use the machine, the more tired and sore your entire body will feel the next day. Additionally, it provides a full-body workout, activating your core, upper, and lower body if you use it properly. Remember to look at the instructions before using this machine or other workout equipment.

6. Elliptical Workouts

Elliptical machines are great for low-stress cardio workouts. They can help you boost your stamina, lose weight, improve your balance, and tone your muscles. Similar to the bike, elliptical machines provide a low-impact cardio workout since your feet never leave the pedals.

7. Swimming Workouts

Swimming is an incredibly popular cardio workout for people of all ages. The water in swimming pools reduces gravity’s pull, allowing you to work out in a low-impact environment. Swimming also achieves a full-body workout while working your cardiovascular system. There are three basic swimming strokes that everyone should know.

Front Crawl

For the front crawl, you begin by holding your breath and placing your face downward in the water with your feet nearly together behind you. Then, you bring your arms above your body, keeping them close to your head and ears. You interchange one arm and then the other, propelling yourself forward as you kick one leg and then the other. To breathe, turn your head gently to the side until it is out of the water as you continue to swim, and then place it downward in the water again.


Backstroke is another swimming stroke that is handy to know. Float on your back with your feet almost together and your arms at your side to begin this stroke. Then, reach one hand above your head, keeping your arm almost straight and next to your ear, and pull the water toward you. Then, use the other hand to do the same thing after the first returns to its starting position. You will kick your legs, one and then the other, quickly to achieve momentum.


Finally, the last crucial swimming stroke to know before hitting the water is the breaststroke. For this stroke, you submerge your stomach in the water, keeping your head and back in the air. Reach both hands out together, almost touching one another out in front of your head. Then, use both hands to pull the water around and toward your sides. Bring your hands toward your chest, and then push them out in front of you to return to the starting position. As you do this, your legs should kick around and out, similar to how a frog uses its back legs to swim in the water.

8. HIIT Workouts

One of the most iconic alternatives in this guide to the different types of cardio workouts is called a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. A HIIT workout is composed of high-intensity bursts of cardio exercises followed by longer rest periods. For example, you could do 10 jumping jacks, 10 burpees, and five minutes of running in place. Then, you would follow that with eight minutes of rest for a tiring but rewarding workout that truly gets the blood pumping.

A Guide to the Different Types of Cardio Workouts