Gym and studio closures and social distancing over the last few weeks mean many exercisers are taking their workout to their living room. But cardio exercises at home can be loud: Many require some form of jumping, which—while definitely effective at making you sweat—can also sound like an angry, giant-size toddler stomping around to your neighbors in the apartment below.
Stress levels are already high due to the new coronavirus, and you don’t want to make it any worse by adding tense neighbor relations to the mix. But you don’t have to miss out on an at-home cardio workout, either: You just need a workout that’s low-impact and cuts out the jumping but allows you to work at a high intensity.
The best way to do that is to incorporate lots of full-body, compound movements, Noam Tamir, CSCS, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in NYC, tells SELF.
“When you jump, you are using a lot more force—it’s multiple times your bodyweight that you are handling, so your heart rate is going to go up, and it’s going to be a lot more on your muscles and your joints,” he says. “However, doing moves that are multijoint, where hips, knees, shoulders, and everything is involved, are going to be more beneficial to get your heart rate up when you can’t do impact.” That means focus on big moves like squats or push-ups, rather than single-joint exercises like triceps extensions or bicep curls.
In order to best mimic the sweaty, I’m-really-breathing-hard-now response that you’d get with traditional, high-impact home cardio workouts, keep the rest short and reps high for these kinds of moves, he says. In the workout he created below, you’ll do that with a Tabata circuit (20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest), a regular circuit, where you’ll move from exercise to exercise without rest, an EMOM circuit (every minute on the minute), and an AMRAP circuit, where you complete as many rounds as possible during a given amount of time. (Of course, safety matters most, so if you feel too out of breath or like your form is degrading, give yourself additional time to rest.)
By combining these two factors—compound movements and intense work—you can get an at-home cardio workout that won’t drive your neighbors up the wall. As a happy bonus too, the low-impact nature of the workout is also great for those with joint issues who need to avoid high-impact moves, as well as for beginners who may not be able to execute jumping-based moves safely and effectively.