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The Best 10-Minute Standing Cardio Workout—No Equipment Required

Revving up your cardio starts with this quick and simple mini workout.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Revving up your cardio is full of incredible mind-body benefits. Whether you head out for a brisk hike, get your strides in on the treadmill, do some cycling, or turn up the energy in a kickboxing class, you'll be giving your quality of life a boost, the Cleveland Clinic explains. But did you know that carving out just 10 minutes of your day for cardio can also be beneficial? It may not seem like much, but adding "mini workouts" to your routine is a smart idea, and we have just the 10-minute standing cardio workout for you to prove it. The best part is, you don't have to go to the gym or have fancy equipment on deck in order to make it happen.

To stress just how important exercise is—even if only for just 10 minutes—we checked the science. Research published in JAMA Network revealed that an estimated 110,000 annual deaths could be avoided if individuals between the ages of 40 to 85 (or older) bumped up their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity intensity (MVPA) by a little bit, such as 10 minutes each day.

By engaging in 10 minutes of cardio, you'll torch calories, bring your heart rate up, and improve your aerobic endurance. However, many individuals associate cardio with jogging, running, or cycling. Although these exercises are stellar, you can also kick up your cardio by doing standing movements in a circuit fashion. That's where this 10-minute standing cardio workout comes in clutch. You can do it anywhere, whether it's in between meetings and work calls, in the comfort of your own home, or outdoors.

If you're looking for a cardio workout beyond your classic squats and lunges, here are a few movements you can do instead. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and perform as many sets of the following movements back to back.

High Knees

woman doing high knees standing cardio workout by the water

The first exercise to kick off this standing cardio workout is high knees. To set up, keep a straight torso and a tight core. Quickly march one knee up above your hip before lowering it back down to the floor and completing the same motion with your other knee. Establish a fast pace you're able to comfortably maintain as you alternate knees. Perform as many sets of 20 reps for each leg.

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Butt Kickers

standing butt kicks

To begin butt kickers, have your hands out to your sides, and kick your heels up toward your butt. Flex your hamstrings with each rep. Alternate back and forth until all reps are completed. Perform as many sets of 20 reps for each leg.

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Squat Jacks

woman does squats exercise outdoors, concept of workout to shrink hanging belly fat

Start this next exercise by getting into your squat stance with your feet slightly turned out. Descend into a squat by pushing your hips back and sitting back onto your heels until your quads are at least parallel to the floor. Stay at that depth and perform a tiny hop to bring both feet toward each other until they're touching your knees. Perform another mini hop to bring your feet back out to complete one full rep. Perform as many sets of 15 reps.


woman doing A-skips in front of blue backdrop as part of standing cardio workout

Last but not least, this mini cardio workout wraps up with A-skips. Start this exercise by taking one of your hands and the opposite knee and pushing them up into a mini jump. Land softly, and repeat with the other side. Perform as many sets of 10 reps for each side.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S., CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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