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8 Fat-Blasting Cardio Moves You Can Do When The Treadmill Is Taken

Cardio moves without the treadmill
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If you step into the gym with a certain cardio machine in mind, discovering there isn’t a single open treadmill, stair climber, or elliptical can seriously throw off your game plan. You know the feeling: What now?

Rather than standing around waiting for a machine (or just taking it as a sign from the universe that your workout wasn’t meant to be), find an open space and let a handful of creative, no-equipment cardio moves be your plan B (or even your plan A).

“There are tons of ways you can get in a good cardio sweat sesh without spending boring hours on a machine,” says certified personal trainer Katie Dunlop, creator of the Love Sweat Fitness community and daily workouts. “In fact, you don’t need any equipment to burn serious calories and get a killer workout in.” (Just try The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD—the fast, flexible workout you’ve been waiting for!)

Plus, not only will no-equipment cardio moves give your heart rate a boost, but many of them will also work your muscles to add in some resistance training, too. Win-win.

Dunlop demo’d her eight favorite no-equipment exercises for us, and they might make you sweat just looking at them. She suggests doing all of these exercises in order and repeating the entire circuit twice, or choosing four of your favorites and repeating three or four times.

Move through each exercise quickly and rest for 60 to 80 seconds in between circuits. “Either workout you choose will get your heart pumping so you can burn fat and increase cardiovascular endurance,” says Dunlop. Treadmill, meet your match.

Air Jump Rope
1/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Air Jump Rope

How to: Bring your arms down by your sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Bouncing on your toes, begin jumping up and down, moving your arms in circular motions as if you’re actually holding a jump rope. Make sure you’re engaging your core and glutes while keep your shoulders back and down. Jump for one to two minutes, moving quickly.

Explosive Star Jumps
2/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Explosive Star Jump

How to: With your feet about hip-distance apart and weight in your heels, crouch down into a deep squat (a). Push through your heels and explode up, bringing your arms overhead and your legs out to your sides, as if you’re doing a jumping jack (b). Land gently on your toes, lower back down and repeat for 15 reps.

Related: This Is How The Fittest People On Earth REALLY Work Out

Donkey Kicks
3/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Donkey Kick

How to: From a standing position, bend over and place both hands on the floor about a foot in front of your feet (a). Engaging your core, bend your knees and kick your left heel up toward the sky, keeping your right leg bent (b). With control, drop your left leg back to the ground. Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

You don’t need a lot of equipment—or any at all—to get fit. Check out this no-equipment workout:

Work Out With No Equipment
For this do-anywhere workout all you need to get super-fit is your own body.
Ice Skaters
4/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Ice Skater

How to: Start in a curtsy lunge, squatting down with your left foot stepped diagonally behind your right foot, and touch your left hand to the floor (a). Explode up and to the side to switch legs (b), then land softly with your right foot behind your left foot (c). That’s one rep. Continue quickly moving from side to side for 20 reps.

Break Dancers
5/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Break Dancer

How to: Start in tabletop position with your knees hovering over the ground (a). Bring your right leg underneath your body, lifting your left hand off the ground and opening up to your left side. Bring your right knee to your left elbow (b), then return to the start. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps, switching sides each time.

Related: 8 Items That Will Make Your Next Run Feel WAY Easier

Plank To Squat
6/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Plank To Squat

How to: Start in a high plank with your shoulders stacked over wrists, core engaged and tailbone slightly tucked (a). Bend your knees and hop your feet to the outside of your hands to land in a squat (b). Push through your hands to lift your hips and jump back into a plank. Do 15 reps.

Long Jumps
7/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Long Jump

How to: Standing tall, bring your feet wider than hip-distance with your toes pointed slightly out. Squat down, bringing your hands to the floor (a). Push through your heels and toes and explode up and forward, reaching your arms overhead (b). Land softly, and try to jump up and forward a few feet (c). Do 20 reps.

Related: This Is the Best Exercise to Erase Your Belly Pooch, Says Science

Mountain Climber Burpee
8/8 Photograph courtesy of Katie Dunlop
Mountain Climber Burpee

How to: Start in a high plank position (a). Bring your right knee to your left elbow (b), then quickly switch to the other side. Repeat four times for a total of eight mountain climbers. Then, hop your feet outside your hands as you sit low into a squat (c). Push through your heels as you explode up, reaching your arms overhead (d). Bend over and place your hands back on the floor, then hop your feet back into a high plank position. Do five reps.

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