5 Workouts That Totally Still Count As Cardio When All The Treadmills At The Gym Are Taken

by Georgina Berbari

You know the feeling: You've somehow convinced yourself to be super pumped (for once) about hopping on the treadmill and sweating it out. But when you get to the gym, the unspeakable happens: All the treadmills — and even the damn ellipticals — are taken. As tempting as it is to be dramatic AF and have a passive aggressive staring contest with that middle-aged man who is clearly abusing his 30-minute-cardio-equipment privilege, take a deep breath, let that sh*t go, and try these exercises that count as cardio instead. Besides, who needs the treadmill, anyway?

While treadmill and elliptical workouts are great, reliable forms of cardiovascular fitness, they're not necessary in any way to achieve your cardio #goals. Plus, some people can't stand those machines and would rather watch paint dry than hop on the "dreadmill," as they so lovingly call it.

According to Yahoo Lifestyle, by amping up both the speed and intensity with which you perform your movements, you can transform just about any workout into a healthy dose of cardio.

So, whether the treadmills and ellipticals are all occupied by the time you get to the gym, or the thought of running just simply bores you to tears, there is a light at the end of the heart-pumping tunnel. Here are five workouts that still totally count as cardio — no treadmill required.

Squeeze In A HIIT Circuit
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High-intensity interval training can feel like literal hell on earth in the moment. But once you finish the circuits, you'll feel accomplished, strong AF, and honestly unstoppable.

This type of exercise combines aerobic and strengthening movements, with minimal rest in between, to ensure your muscles are practically twitching by the time you're done.

The real key to HIIT, though, is that part about minimal rest. If you're chillin' for prolonged periods of time between your circuits, you won't get the full effect of this challenging cardio workout.

Master that #discipline, and show that dude hogging the treadmill who's boss when you're drenched in sweat post-burpees.

Hop On The Rowing Machine on YouTube

The treadmill and elliptical aren't the only machines that can give you a nice dose of cardio. The rowing machine is so underrated, especially since it gives your entire body a killer challenge to work with.

According to the Daily Burn, working your body on this machine targets roughly 84 percent of your muscles. Can I get a #HellYes on that!?

Plus, the rowing machine is more low-impact than you probably realize, and it won't take a huge toll on your joints, unlike running on a treadmill.

Be sure to focus on power rather than speed while you're rowing to get the most of the cardiovascular #gains.

Grab A Jump Rope
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Jump ropes shouldn't be left behind at fifth-grade recess. Whip that bad boy out, and squeeze in some killer cardio.

If you're just starting out on your fitness journey, the recommended amount of time to jump rope is 10 minutes a day. However, if you're a seasoned cardio connoisseur, you can go up to a half hour (or beyond, but you'll probably be bored and all skipped out at that point, you feel me?).

Pump Out Some Plyo
Redefining Strength on YouTube

Plyometrics are explosive AF and will challenge your body to the max while fulfilling all your cardio needs.

The goal for plyo is to work as many of your muscles as you can in as little time as possible. From box jumps to jump squats, choose the explosive moves that best suit you, and crank out a few rounds.

Who knows, you may never want to go back to the trusty treadmill again after you see what plyo's all about.

Try A Speed Ladder Drill (If You Dare)
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A lot of gyms have speed ladders tucked away among the equipment, and these bad boys challenge your body to use new muscles you may not be used to working, all while improving balance and agility and packing in a killer cardio workout.

Speed ladder drills really get you out of your comfort zone, and they're tricky as all hell. Try incorporating this tool into one of your next circuits. You probably won't even know what HIIT you once you're out of breath — get it? OK, bye.

Peace out, treadmill!