Mix up your cardio routine with these 5 alternative workouts


Man working out on trampoline

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Most fitness plans include at least two to three days of cardio-focused workouts. What exactly does that mean? Well, traditional cardio routines include variations of walking, running and stationary gym equipment such as the elliptical, the stepper or the bike. However, in light of the ever-changing fitness industry, cardio has found a way to innovate and keep us on our toes.

Whether you are a member of a gym or have access to a boutique fitness studio nearby, check out one of these sweat-inducing options:


Concept2 Rower machines are making a comeback at gyms and boutiques. The rowing machine is more effective than the traditional equipment we’re used to at most places. This is because a traditional 45- to 50-minute rowing class could burn upwards of 500 calories, which is twice as much as a 45-minute elliptical workout. Because rowing effectively works your entire body, your form is very important. In recent months, most fitness facilities have introduced group classes involving the row machine. If you’ve never tried the machine, check out one of these basic routines from Concept2.

Jumping rope

The jump rope is an excellent cardio accessory to have around. Whether you are limited on time or space, the jump rope is an excellent solution. Jumping rope for as little as 10 minutes has the potential to burn more than 100 calories and won’t break the fitness budget. If you want a jump rope that offers a little extra challenge, consider Cross Rope, a weighted jump rope system that is appropriate for all levels. However, even a simple speed rope will do the trick. If you are a beginner try this workout:

  • 50 jumps
  • 10 squats
  • Repeat 10 times


Swimming is by far one of the best workouts for people of all ages. Swimming laps for approximately 30 minutes burns between 250 and 350 calories (depending on the intensity) and provides a low-impact workout. In addition, water aerobics and Aqua Zumba are both popular classes to try. Gyms such as Equinox and NYHRC have pools and offer aquatic classes at several of their locations. In 2013, a new trend hit NYC with the launch of the studio AQUA or aquatic cycling. That’s a double cardio workout, if you ask me!