A fitness expert reveals his ultimate at-home cardio workout

From squat jumps and skaters to prisoner sprints and plyometric lunges, James Stirling has created a stamina-strengthening new circuit

The past few months were tough on our workouts. With the subpar weather and breezy temperatures, the thought of lacing up our running shoes and getting in a quick cardio-increasing run couldn’t have been further from our minds. And even though the British sun is slowly starting to peak through, we still have a solution for those times when you’re looking to strengthen your stamina without leaving your abode – which is where Gentleman’s Journal fitness expert James Stirling, AKA @london_fitness_guy, comes in.

“If you’re tired of your cardio workouts before you even get started,” says Stirling, “it might be time to add some variety to your exercises! And there are many other ways to lift your heart rate.”

“The beauty of these workouts,” he adds, “is that they often require no equipment. So, rather than heading out for a run, give this eight-exercise circuit a try. The focus here is on working at high intensity for 30-40 seconds, and then resting for 20-30 seconds between each exercise. Once you finish the circuit, enjoy a minute’s rest — and then start again…”

Exercise #1: 20 seconds squat jumps / 20 seconds plyometric lunges

For this one, focus on a powerful jump and a soft landing. Once you’ve completed 20 seconds of the squat jumps, switch to the plyometric lunges. If you want a lower-impact option, you can try a normal reverse lunge without a jump.

For the squat jumps:

  • Start in a squat position
  • Lower yourself to 90 degrees
  • Explosively jump upwards

For the plyometric lunges:

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lower your body until your forward thigh is parallel to the ground
  • Your back knee should almost be touching the ground
  • Explode back up, as high as you can

Exercise #2: half burpee

This is a lower-impact version of the chest-to-floor burpee. See how many you can do in 30-40 seconds.

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lower yourself into the plank position 
  • Quickly jump up to return to standing
  • Repeat at speed!

Exercise #3: skaters

Imagine an ice skater — this exercise should look similar to that. Try to maintain a steady pace and your balance — because it’s a good test of your stability, too!

  • Start by crouching on your left leg
  • Hop from your planted foot, with a lunge, to the other foot
  • Repeat, jumping side-to-side

Exercise #4: toe taps

Remember to keep your core tight with this one. Repeat for 30-40 seconds.

  • Start in a crab position; hands and feet flat to the mat
  • Lift your left leg upwards
  • Raise your right hand and stretch out towards your toe
  • Lower, and repeat with your left hand to right toe

Exercise #5: 20 seconds prisoner sprint / 20 seconds mountain climber

Begin by performing an on-the-spot sprint for 20 seconds, with your hands on your head — it’ll be a testing 20 seconds. Then go straight into these mountain climbers:

  • Start in a high plank position
  • Drive your knees, one after the other, towards your chest

Exercise #6: broad jump

Starting at the edge of your mat, take a big jump forwards. Keep your landing soft and then shuffle back to your start position. Repeat for 30-40 seconds.

Exercise #7: explosive jacks

This is your typical star jump, but made explosive! See how many you can complete in 30-40 seconds.

  • Lower your hands to feet 
  • Throw your hands above your head as you jump into a star position
  • As you raise your arms up, move your legs outwards

Exercise #8: lateral hops

In simple terms, this is just a sideways hop. But make sure you drive power through your arms while jumping side-to-side on your mat — as this will help you complete as many hops as possible in 30-40 seconds. 

Need an extra push? Try out London Fitness Guy’s workout programmes. Click here to start your journey

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Further Reading