It’s important to get off the couch and move…we all know that, but doing the same thing everyday can get monotonous and boring to say the least!
People are creatures of habit and when they find a machine that they like, they tend to use it exclusively. This can lead to diminished results, boredom and eventual burn out. The solution is to find alternative conditioning workouts that keep your body guessing and mind engaged.
Here is a very simple list of conditioning activities that you can incorporate into your workout schedule. These types of activities should be mixed in with a resistance program. These conditioning workouts will help build cardiovascular health, endurance, stamina, and speed recovery.
Some are simple, some for beginners, some more advanced. Always start slow and consult a physician before starting any exercise program.
101 Conditioning Ideas – Cardio Workouts
2. Walk incline on treadmill
3. Walk outside
4. Walk uphill
5. Walk in sand
6. Walk in sand uphill
7. Walk in sand dragging something
8. Walk with a vest – added weight
9. Walk with weights in your hands
10. Walk dragging sled, log or tire for long distance
11. Hike a trail
12. Jogging on a treadmill
13. Jog outside
14. Jog on a trail
15. Jog uphill
16. Jog uphill in sand
17. Indian runs – grab some friends and go jogging. Last person sprints to the front, then jogs, then the line of people repeats the process.
19. Sprint track – tracks are great places to run various distances at speed.
20. Sprint uphill – made famous by the NFLs most famous athletes
21. Sprint uphill in sand – brutal workout
22. Drag intervals – drag a tire, sled or other. Sprint and rest, repeat
23. Bleachers – a simple place to run stairs and do various drills
24. Agility drills – tons of options changing directions, using speed.
25. Lateral jumps – feet together jumping side to side
26. Broad jumps – two feet and jump as far forward as possible
27. Single leg jumps – forward, backward, side to side, angles, up down and more
28. Vertical jumps – various jumps, 2 legs, single legs and more.
29. Jump rope – double leg, side to side, single leg, double jumps and more. Jump ropes are inexpensive and powerful exercise tool.
30. Jumps with boxes – jump onto plyo boxes or bench
31. Trampoline work – fun change of pace
32. Stair climber – common at most gyms
33. Stepper – common gym cardio
34. Stationary bike – in a gym or at home
35. Regular bike – get outside and ride any bike
37. Hill climb – go climb a hill
38. Mountain bike – get outside
39. Airdyne bike – bicycle with upper body resistance too. Big fan wheel up front.
40. Viper rope – a never ending rope climber
41. Versa climber – think full body stair climber.
42. Paddle board – a popular sport. Stand up on an oversized surf board and paddle away.
43. Quad crawls – crawling on your hands and feet
44. Stair climb – simple
45. Quad down and up stairs – crawling up and down stairs is a killer full body workout
46. Stair jumps up and down – plyometric, explosive workout
47. Rock climbing – fun challenge for the hands, body and mind.
48. Climb rope – gym class reminder? Killer workout
49. Roller blade – wear those wrist guards..lol
50. Ice skate – great change of pace
51. Swim open water – swimming in a lake or ocean is much different than swimming in a pool.
52. Swimming w/ kick board – only focus on using various kicks. Flutter, frog and dolphin kicks.
53. Swim no feet – no kicking allowed.
54. Swim drills – breathing drills, turns, lengthening stroke, kicking and others. Swimmers have and endless array of nasty drills
55. Swim various strokes – freestyle, breast stroke, side stroke, back stroke, butterfly.
56. Water polo conditioning – try and swim for 5 minutes without touching the bottom or side of the pool. Then increase your time and intensity.
57. Water resistance drills – use weights, fins, paddles and other water resistance tools and get moving.
58. Under water intervals – Hold your breath and swim under water. Work on increasing your time under water. Come up for air and repeat.
59. Surf – a humbling experience that challenges upper body endurance, balance and stamina.
60. Volleyball – good option if its cold outside or you don’t have sand.
62. Shadow boxing – great place to start. Work on technique.
63. Speed bag boxing – smaller water drop looking bag. Used to build hand eye coordination and hand speed.
64. Heavy bag boxing – jab, cross, hook, body shots…start slow, wear wraps and then mix up your punches into combinations.
65. Kicking heavy bag – add some kicks to your heavy bag work to increase that heart rate quickly!
66. Knees – knees are a vital weapon in Muay Thai and MMA. Mix some knees into your work on the heavy bag.
67. Body weight series – squat, lunge, push, pull, bend, twist and gait..mix them into a series of movements. Be creative and the possibilities are endless.
68. Sled drills
69. Tire drills – use a smaller tire and do sprints, backward runs and much more. Tire adds a little resistance
70. Tire circuits – flip it, drag it, pull it, repeat.
71. Drag sled – incredible leg and hip builder and conditioning exercise. You can drag walking, running, pulling and much more.
72. Push sled – amazing conditioning tool used by the world best strength coaches. Be prepared to work hard!
73. Sand bag work – sand bags make killer resistance. Try doing various full body movements in a circuit and you will develop killer strength and great conditioning level too!
74. Sand drills – jog forward, backward, side shuffle, skip, karaoka, yo yos, ladder drills, etc.
75. Sand jumps – Jumping on steroids. This will get you breathing hard quick.
76. Sand sprints – Running in the sand adds instability and will be much more challenging than sprinting on pavement, grass or a track
77. Rope drills – There are hundreds of exercises you can perform with the heavy ropes by yourself. Simply anchor an end and you can create waves, circles and a variety of other movements. You can vary intensity and do HIIT or steady state for a time period.
78. Battling ropes – This is easily my favorite conditioning tool right now. 25-50 lengths of rope are needed. Have a partner grab the other end and violently create waves towards each other for a time period. Taxes your whole body!
79. Never ending rope pull – throw a rope over a high bar. The more times you wrap the rope, the more resistance it creates. Ideally you have a 50-100’ rope and all you have to do is pull hand over hand until the length is pulled up. Then, simply grab the other end and continue the process.
80. Tug of war – fun change of pace that you can do with a friend or friends. Get a rope, pick teams and pull. This is great for hand strength and full body.
82. Obstacle course – fun idea to change up your conditioning. Maybe use a playground, wall, sand, monkey bars, etc to create any kind of obstacle course. Could be easy or more difficult depending on your imagination and ability level.
83. Cone drills – You can set cones in various obstacles courses and movement patterns and move quickly through the course. This is almost limitless.
84. Ladder drills – unlimited number of ladder drills to increase foot speed, agility and stamina.
85. Hurdle drills – Use various hops over the hurdles. You can set up any number of hurdles at various heights to increase intensity.
86. Kayak – paddle til your arms fall off
87. Basketball jump drill – under the back board. Jump repeatedly and touch the back board for 1 minute straight.
88. Basketball yoyos – basic line drills. Base line to foul line, back, base to 3 point, back, base to half court, back, opposite 3 point, back, foul line, back, rest. Repeat.
89. Basketball lateral agility on sight. Ball left, ball right, forwards and backwards.
90. Football warm ups – run forward, backward, butt kickers, side shuffles, Karaokas, skips, acceleration sprints.
91. Football agility – speed starts, starts on sight, ladder drills, start on sound, route runs and more
92. Football combine stuff – shuttle runs, 40 yd sprints, agility drills and more
93. Speed skater stuff – get low, and glide back and forth…add jumps as you progress
94. MMA work
95. MMA punch, kick, takedown, sprawl, carries, pummeling, ground work,
side side, bridges, transitions, spin, triangles, side sit ups, sit
96. Triathlete workouts – swim, bike, run
97. Gymnastics conditioning – bounding, swings, rolls,
98. Wrestling takedowns – singles, doubles, throws and more.
99. Wheel barrows – friend holds your feet and walk on your hands
100. Wheel barrows uphill
101. Wheel barrows up steps/bleachers
So, there you go.
Hopefully this stirred up some new ideas and inspires you to try some new activities,
Did I miss something cool? Let me know!