You can do this quick cardio workout outdoors to get your heart rate up on days you don’t ride a bike

This time of year doesn’t always offer the best driving conditions. The heat and humidity make running for hours on end less than pleasant. But what Want make your workout more fun? This quick outdoor cardio workout you can do in about 15 minutes.

Perfect for cross training days or days when you need to shift your running to your indoor trainer and want to do your strength training in the sun, this plyometric plan builds strength and endurance to enhance your performance.

The benefits of an outdoor cardio workout for cyclists

Whether you’re training for a long ride or just looking to build your core fitness, this outdoor cardio workout will complement your running program perfectly.

Incorporating cardio-based strength training through jumping and continuous movement can burn more calories, strengthen more muscle groups, and improve oxygen and blood flow, compared to other strength training, says Raj Hathiramani, a certified running coach at the Mile High Run Club in New York City.

This quick cardio workout includes familiar moves like jumping jacks and A-skips to help you warm up your muscles, get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Plus, you’ll definitely struggle eventually, with exercises like side burpees and mountain climbers, which put your body to the test.

Another plus: An outdoor cardio workout can boost your mood, adds Hathiramani.

How to use this list: Practice each exercise in the order listed below for 30 seconds each. Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise. Do 3 sets, with 1 minute rest between each set.

Hathiramani demonstrates these moves so you can learn proper form. You won’t need any equipment, but an exercise mat is optional.

1. Jack jumping

Raj Hatiramani

Why it works: Many of us grew up doing this traditional exercise at the gym—it’s super easy to do, helps warm up muscles, and increases mobility, says Hathiramani.

How to do it: Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump just enough to spread your feet. Without stopping, quickly reverse the movement, bringing your feet and arms together by your sides. Repeat. Stay light on your feet.

2. A-Skip

hathiramani practices a jumping exercise

Raj Hatiramani

Why it works: This move mimics cycling patterns very closely, meaning it helps you practice efficient form, says Hathiramani.

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. In a bouncing motion, lift your left knee to hip height, approaching the ball of your right foot and pumping left arm forward, right arm back. Keep shoulders and hips aligned. Push your left foot back. Next, lift your right knee to hip height, approaching your left ball of your foot and pumping your right arm forward and left arm back. Continue alternating.

3. Pop Squats

hathiramani practices the pop squat

Raj Hatiramani

Why it works: Strengthen your quads, glutes and calves to keep your body strong and resilient for the mileage ahead. This move will also help you build power and stability, Hathiramani says.

How to do it: Stand with feet together. She jumps out, driving her hips back and down, bending her knees to lower herself into a squat position with both hands between her legs and palms facing each other. Jump back up, exploding off the floor to bring your feet together and hands behind your head with elbows bent. Repeat.

4. Side-to-side burpee

hathiramani practices side to side burpee

Raj Hatiramani

Why it works: Hathiramani says this full-body exercise offers both cardio and strength benefits to improve your overall aerobic fitness.

How to do it: Stand with feet together and arms at sides. Jump a few meters to the left. Bend over and place your hands on the floor. Jump your feet into a plank position, then drop your body to the floor, maintaining a straight line with your core engaged. Push back (making sure you don’t arch your back) and jump back with your feet on your hands. Explode up, jumping right. Repeat, alternating side jumps between burpees.

5. Cross-body climber

hathiramani practices crossbody climber exercise

Raj Hatiramani

Why it works: This exercise is a core finisher that will help cyclists strengthen and stabilize their core muscles, which is especially important as it helps maintain posture toward the end of a tough ride, says Hathiramani.

How to do it: Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged so body forms a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels. Engage your glutes and thighs to keep your legs straight. Drive your left knee towards your right elbow, then quickly return it to the plank position. Immediately drive your right knee towards your left elbow, then quickly return it to plank position. Continue alternating.

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