3 Great Ways to Get Your Cardio In

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There are typically three kinds of people in the gym: those who are there to gain mass, those who are there to get  toned and those who are there so they can go out after and eat a cheesecake without feeling guilty. Many people know the best way to get bigger muscles is to lift bigger weights — or at least what they can properly handle. And others know the best way to get toned is by doing less weight with more repetitions.

Many struggle in this uphill battle, not seeing results fast enough or not feeling like their workout has been tough enough. However what many don’t know is that the best way to get toned is by fusing both cardio and light weight lifting.

Here are three exercises you can do in order to help your body burn more fat, get lean and tear up those muscles for that toned physique you’ve always wanted.

Shadow Boxing

We’ve all seen them at the gym… the guys who swear they’re in an MMA fight with the punching bag. They wrap their hands and begin unleashing on the bag. Though they may look ridiculous sometimes, it might be time that we start following their lead, or at least just their enthusiasm.

Shadow boxing has always been a way for fighters to practice managing their breathing while they’re throwing punches, so that they won’t get winded on fight night. When paired with a couple of 5-pound dumbbells, and two minute bouts—you’ll see exactly why this exercise is so popular. It’ll melt the fat away all while strengthening your upper body.


Most people get on the cardio machines so they can do 20 to 30 minutes of light jogging, then go home after. However, recent studies on the effects of light jogging for long distance versus sprinting for short distances show that sprinting may be the better option for those looking to build a toned physique.

Sprinting causes your leg muscles to work harder, strengthening and toning them, all while making you work up a sweat and forcing you to control your breathing, helping you tone your core. Make sure your sprints last at least three minutes, with two minute walks in between.


Aerobics were a major driving force of the fitness revolution in the 80s. We all remember Richard Simmons and how his crazy personality helped ignite a huge enthusiasm for exercise and living a fit life. To this day his influence has not waned, and aerobic exercises continue to be one of the most common form of group exercise — drawing in huge numbers for the gyms that offer the classes.

However, due to the classes being targeted at large groups, they may not cater to your specific needs. If your plan is to get toned by burning fat and tearing up those muscles, then combining aerobics with light weight and upper body exercises is a sure fire way to reach those goals faster.

Choose to go the smarter route: combine your muscle workouts and your cardio, and you’ll be able to see those results breaking through in no time. With these three exercises done for 20 minutes each about four times a week, you’ll be well on your way to losing inches and getting the right kind of cuts.

Just remember: fitness is only part of the equation. A healthy diet is critical to success as well.