Doing separate workouts for cardio and core strength sounds like a total time-suck to us. Instead, get two workouts for the price of one with this short circuit routine that’ll keep your heart rate elevated while you strengthen your midsection.

This workout includes 11 basic bodyweight exercises, which means you don’t need any equipment, and it requires only enough space to fit an exercise mat.

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This one is not about hammering out moves as fast as possible. [Insert prayer emoji.] Although you’ll keep your heart rate up, it’s about focusing on your form, gaining stamina, and getting the most out of every rep. Hit play to get started.

To recap: An exercise mat is optional. Do each move for about 30 seconds. Don’t rest between exercises. We’ve also given you modifications in case you find some movements too intense — everyone should be able to get involved and stay fit.

Watch the video to see the moves in action, and then read our guide below to walk you through each step.

Here’s how to pull off each move like a pro.

Jumping jack

This one’s a classic — here’s how to do it right.

Reps: About 30

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with arms at your sides.
  2. Bend knees slightly and jump feet out while lifting arms out to the sides and then over your head.
  3. Jump back to the starting position, lowering your arms.
  4. Repeat.

Safety precautions: Stay light on your feet and avoid landing too hard — you don’t want to put too much pressure on your joints.

Modification: Step from side to side instead of jumping.

Here’s everything you need to know about jumping jacks.


G’day, mate!

Reps: About 10

How to do it:

  1. Squat down.
  2. Punch across your body with one arm, then the other.
  3. Repeat.
  4. Kick forward with one leg, then the other.
  5. Repeat the entire sequence.

Safety precautions: To avoid hurting your back, kick only as high as is comfortable. If a move messes up your back so much you can’t work out for a month, it’s done more harm than good. You are not a real kangaroo.

Modification: Slow down the movement.

Traveling push-up

Because why stay in one spot when you’re doing push-ups?

Reps: About 6

How to do it:

  1. Start in a push-up position.
  2. Bend arms and lower your chest toward the mat.
  3. Straighten arms until you’re back in the starting position.
  4. Walk arms and legs about 6 inches to the right and do another push-up.
  5. Walk arms and legs back to the center and do a push-up.
  6. Walk arms and legs to the left and do a push-up.
  7. Return to the center and — you guessed it — do a push-up.
  8. Repeat the whole sequence.

Safety precautions: Keep your core engaged and your back straight.

Modification: Do the push-ups from your knees if full-on push-ups are a bit, well, full-on.

We’ve got loads of variations on push-ups you can try here.

High knees with a twist

It helps if you make “Street Fighter” noises during this one.

Reps: About 45 (both sides counts as 1 rep)

How to do it:

  1. Put your hands out in front of you, one on top of the other.
  2. Start running in place, bringing knees up toward chest, as high as possible.
  3. As you bring each knee up, twist your torso and arms toward that knee.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Safety precautions: Push off and land softly on each foot.

Modification: March in place with high knees instead of running.

Here are some more absolutely banging bodyweight exercises.


Reps: About 40

How to do it:

  1. Lie facedown with legs straight and arms extended over your head, with palms facing down.
  2. Squeezing your glutes, raise your legs into the air, then your arms.
  3. Keeping arms and legs in the air, flutter them — left-right-left-right.

Safety precautions: Keep your head in line with your spine and look down at the floor to avoid straining your neck.

Modifications: Hold your arms and legs still for the whole 30 seconds. Or slowly raise your arms and legs at the same time, hold for a second or two, and then lower.

Another option is to raise one arm and leg at a time. Lower your arms and legs to the mat and take a break whenever you need one.

We break down how to get the Superman spot-on.

Plank with knee tuck

Because planks aren’t hard enough on their own. 😐

Reps: About 10 on each side

How to do it:

  1. Start in high plank position with arms and legs straight and toes on the mat. Make sure wrists are in a straight line with elbows and elbows are in line with shoulders.
  2. Lift left leg and bend knee in toward left elbow.
  3. Touch left knee down to the mat, and then lift it up to left elbow again.
  4. Place left foot back behind you.
  5. Repeat the whole sequence on the right side.

Safety precautions: Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your heels and make sure your neck stays straight.

Modifications: There’s a whole other routine where this came from:

  1. Drop your knees to the mat.
  2. Bring left knee to left elbow, then return to the starting position.
  3. Bring right knee to right elbow, then return to the starting position.

You can also do a knee tuck with sliders — try this and 31 other exercises here.

Greek shuffle


Reps: About 30

How to do it:

  1. Lift arms out to the sides, keeping them level with shoulders.
  2. Cross right leg in front of left leg, and then kick it forward, bouncing slightly on left leg.
  3. Repeat on the other side.

Safety precautions: Land softly on each foot.

Modifications: Take out the bounce and simply kick one leg out and then the other.

Squat with side kick

Every hero has a sidekick, and so does this step of the workout.

Reps: About 18 (9 on each side)

How to do it:

  1. Squat down, with hips back and feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squeeze hands together in front of your chest. As you stand up, shift your weight to left leg and kick right leg out to the side.
  3. Return to the squat position.
  4. Stand up and kick left leg out to the side.
  5. Repeat.

Safety precautions: Keep your chest up as you squat. Don’t let your knees cave in toward each other.

Modifications: Don’t squat as deeply and don’t kick your leg as high.

There are so many types of squat to try. We rounded up 40 others.

Bicycle crunch

🎤 I want to ride my bicycle… 🎤

Reps: About 20 (10 on each side)

How to do it:

  1. Lie faceup with fingers interlaced behind your head and elbows out.
  2. Lift your knees up at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Keeping shoulder blades lifted off the floor and core engaged, cross left elbow to right knee as you straighten left leg.
  4. Cross right elbow to left knee as you straighten right leg.
  5. Repeat.

Safety precautions: Keep your lower back pressed into the mat. Breathe with each rep. Avoid pulling on your head to prevent neck strain.

Modifications: Your elbow doesn’t have to touch your knee. Lift up only as far as you can comfortably go. You don’t want to break yourself doing any of these moves.

Here’s more guidance on winning the Tour de France while on your back in your living room.

Seal plank

Because you don’t do things by ARF! ARF! ARF!

Reps: About 15

How to do it:

  1. Start in a plank position with your elbows on the mat and one arm in front of the other.
  2. Roll your body to the right side and raise right elbow toward the sky.
  3. Slowly roll back to the starting position.
  4. Roll to the left side while raising left elbow toward the sky.
  5. Repeat.

Safety precautions: Keep your body in a straight line. Don’t lift your hips up into the air. You know, like the absolute opposite of a real seal.

Modifications: Every time you twist, place your bottom knee on the mat for more stability.

This is just one of the many exercises inspired by animals — learn more here.


This could be you: 🐢

Reps: About 14

How to do it:

  1. Sit with your knees bent and heels hovering a few inches off the floor. Stretch arms straight out in front of you.
  2. Lie back on the mat with arms outstretched behind you and legs in the air, forming a V shape.
  3. Stay there for a second, then roll back up into the starting position, slightly pulling knees in toward your torso.
  4. Repeat the entire sequence.

Safety precautions: Don’t pull on your back or strain your neck as you lift and lower your torso.

Modifications: Keep your feet on the floor and your torso up. Raise and lower both arms out to your sides and repeat. Or bring your legs out wide and back together, keeping your knees bent. Repeat this entire sequence without taking a break.

Finish your workout with a good stretch. Go through each of these steps and you’ll feel nicely limbered up afterward.

  1. Raise arms overhead while you inhale, and then swing your arms down and back while you exhale. Do about 8 reps.
  2. Lift arms overhead, and then bring your head down toward right knee. Hold for about 5 seconds.
  3. Turn right toes to the side and get into a runner’s lunge position, with right knee bent and left leg out straight behind you, toes to the mat. Hold for about 5 seconds.
  4. Straighten right leg, lift right toes, and fold your torso down over right leg. Hold for about 5 seconds.
  5. Straighten right leg and, with hands on the floor, walk over to your left side. Repeat the entire stretch with left leg.
  6. Come back to the center with legs wide, dropping forward until your hands touch the mat and your head hangs down.
  7. Shake out your neck.
  8. Rock gently from side to side.
  9. Slowly straighten legs and bring arms overhead. Bend right arm behind your head, holding onto right elbow with left hand as you slowly lean your torso to the left.
  10. Hold for about 5 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
  11. Inhale deeply while bending knees, and then straighten legs as you lift arms over your head.

Repeat all these steps 2 more times.

This is an intense workout. Make sure you stay hydrated and push yourself only as far as your body will let you.

Starting with the modified moves will mean you can build up to a mean workout that bulks up two birds with one stone: cardio and strength.