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As you sluggishly pull yourself toward the treadmill for your umpteenth run this month, the thought hits you: there must be a better way. And there is: dynamic, equipment-free moves like the ones in this four-exercise routine are an excellent way to add variety to your humdrum cardio workout.
Try doing each move for 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds to one minute in between, then repeating twice from the top for a total of three rounds.
Target Muscles: hamstrings, glutes, calves
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides and elbows bent. Jump and bend one leg behind you to draw your heel toward your glutes; on your next jump, switch legs. Continue, alternating quickly, for your entire set.
Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, calves
How to do it: Begin in the same starting position as the butt kicks. As you jump, raise your knee in front of your body, alternating legs with each jump. Land lightly on the ball of your foot, and aim to get your knees as high as possible. Repeat for your set.
Target Muscles: leg adductors and abductors, calves, deltoids
How to do it: Stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Jump your legs out to the sides while raising your arms above your head; your body should form an X. Immediately jump back into the starting position, and continue quickly alternating with each jump.
Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend your legs to sink into a squat; at the bottom, explode upward into the air, raising your arms overhead to help you gain height. Land with soft knees and immediately sink back into your squat. Repeat for your entire set.