Best Cardio Exercises For Bodybuilding

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Bodybuilding targets 2 things- building muscle and losing excess body fat.  Strength training like weight training, isometric exercise, etc takes care of muscle building.  For losing excess body fat, we need to perform Adonis Golden Ratio cardio exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc

What is cardio exercise?

Cardio relates to heart.  Any exercise which increases your heart rate, and is of low to moderate intensity is called cardio exercise.  It increases body’s demand for oxygen as it uses the muscle energy.  It increases the blood supply to the muscles by forcing the heart to pump up more and provide the oxygen demanded by the exercised muscles making it stronger.

Cardio exercises need not be of long durations.  A simple 20 minute exercise is enough for folks starting bodybuilding/exercising for the first time.  Gradually you can increase the duration once your body adapts to it.  Even though you are not into strength training, regular cardio exercise has great benefits for the body.

Cardio exercises help in losing body fat, reducing blood pressure, cholesterol control, strengthens lungs and heart, strengthens muscles, prevents obesity, diabetes and depression.

The beauty of cardio exercise is that there are plenty of relatively simple and non expensive exercises not needing gyms.

Let us see what kind of cardio exercises can be performed.

Walking

This is the simplest of all exercises.  Select a place for walking, somewhere there is not much of surface variations and slopes.  Walking in a straight plane is best for the legs.  Indulge in brisk walking for at least 20 continuous minutes.  Walking is very good for fat reduction in thighs.

Jogging

Another simple exercise which does wonders for the body.  Jogging means running at a slow speed.

Jogging helps to reduce body fat faster compared to walking due to the extra effort involved in it.

It is known to reduce tummy fats faster than when walking.  Overdoing it can cause fatigue to your joints and legs.  So maintain a brisk pace and do not shoot off like a rocket.

Swimming

This is high calorie burning exercise.  Swimming for leisure might not be the best alternate for exercising.  Maintain a rigorous speed and repeat few laps.

Skipping

As kids all of us have skipped rope at some or other time.  This kiddie sport is actually a wonderful exercise for adults as well.  Also this exercise involves entire body parts and hence helps burn all muscle fats.

Cycling

Take out your bicycle and pedal yourself to the healthy way.  This exercise burns your thigh muscles and more uneven the terrain more the challenges for your body muscles to pedal and hence more is the calories burnt.  The beauty of cycling is that you can do it anytime in the day by making it habit to cycle to work, while shopping, etc.

Climbing the stairs

This sounds simple, but going up and down the stairs in a brisk pace is one of the best ways to exercise.  Sweat it out and climb the stairs always instead of using the lift.

Jumping

Also called as jumping jack, this is a great method to get started.  Stand straight with both legs together and hands resting against your thighs.  Now jump to spread your legs to the side and raise your hands over your head.  Come back to original position.  Repeat a dozen times.

Hiking

Again, this is an exercise cum leisure sport which we often indulge in.  If done on regular basis it is an excellent way for the body to work out.  All the huffing and puffing will make your body sweat and burn your muscles.

Sports

Varieties of sports like tennis, boxing, kickboxing, football, soccer, karate, skating, ice skiing, rowing etc are best form of cardio exercises.  They help us to relax as well as enjoy ourselves and forget that we are actually exercising.

Treadmill

This is for those who cannot go out walking and jogging.  Walk at a brisk pace on the treadmill in your home or at gym and get the same benefits as walking and jogging.

Elliptical trainer

Like the treadmill, this also an equipment based training.

Various styles of cardio exercises

It is not necessary to do only one type of exercise daily.  Bring variety to your routine and keep changing the exercises.  These exercises van be done in many styles as listed below:

Continuous method

In this style, you stick to one exercise for your exercise duration.  If you prefer walking, you walk for 20 minutes or more, if cycling, cycle, etc.

Interval training method

In this method, higher and lower intensity exercises are done alternately in one workout.  Simple example you do jogging for the ¾ interval and then walk for the remaining.  This helps to burn more calories in a shorter time.  High intensity interval training method is another variant of interval method.

Circuit method

In this method you do a series of exercises and then after completion repeat the same things over.

So like a “circuit” loop back to the exercise where you started from.

Cross training method

In this you mix and match exercise in one workout or in a weekly session.  For example you can do both cycling and jogging in one day or you can jog for 2 days and then cycle for 2 days, etc.  Swimming is usually a best option to incorporate into cross trainings as most of us might not have an inclination to swim daily.

To summarise, cardio exercises can be done not only by bodybuilders but by all.  They have numerous health benefits and are not neither time consuming nor expensive.  If done on regular basis, not only do they help to reduce weight, but also prevent obesity which is major factor for diabetes, heart attacks, etc.  Do not dream of instant weight reduction.  Take each day as it comes.  For those busy with their lives, it is really worth sparing 20 minutes of your hectic schedules for performing these cardio exercises.  You never know, it can help you add extra ten years to your life!!

Category: Bodybuilding, Workouts

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