12 Minute Cardio Workout

Quick and simple workouts that can be done anywhere are a favorite go-to of mine. This workout will surely get you sweating and will get your heart rate up too. This cardio workout can be adjusted for many different fitness levels by either adding the extra jump or keeping it lower intensity by skipping any jumping or slowing the pace.

Before you start:

It’s always good practice to stretch before and after the workout – and a foam roller makes for an easy way to do so. Be sure to hydrate before, during and after the workout and let’s get going!

How this workout works:

This workout will be done in an interval-style and each of the 5 moves will last for 30 seconds – total of 3 minutes, followed by a 30 second rest and then repeat the circuit for a total of 4 times. As a bonus at the end of the circuit, find yourself a set of stairs and run or walk then for 5 or more minutes. Be sure to stretch at the end!

What you’ll need:

  • Sneakers
  • Water
  • Stop Watch (you can use your phone!)

Warmup: 2 minutes

March or jog in place for 30 seconds then jumping jacks for 30 seconds- repeat

Let’s get started!

Move 1: Mountain climbers

Start in plank position and alternate bringing one knee into your chest and then the next. You can make this a gentle walk or you can run your legs for a higher pace stride. The quicker you run your legs the higher your heart rate will go.

Move 2: Jump squats

Start in a squat position (as pictured) then either stand, squeezing glutes before returning to squat position or jump for a higher intensity move- landing gently. Be sure to squeeze glutes when both standing and jumping.


Move 3: Spider man pushups


This move is one of my favorites. You will start in a plank position and drive the right knee into meet your elbow while completing the pushup- then alternate sides (see picture above). You can do this move on your knees or simply do a regular pushup if it suits you better!

Move 4: High knees/running in place

A simple yet effective move. Running or marching in place can help to get your heart rate up and can be done anywhere. The faster you march or jog the higher your heart rate will go- so try to push it as much as you can!

Move 5: Star jumps


Star jumps are a jumping jack with a jump at the end of them- as pictured. Remember that if it suits you to stick with the regular jumping jack you can absolutely do so, but give the star jack a try- they’re fun and challenging. Remember to land gently on your feet and repeat for 30 seconds.

Bonus: Stair climbs!


If you have a set of stairs- indoor or outdoor, or find yourself with access to a track with bleachers or similar finish this workout with 5 minutes (or more) of stair climbing- you can walk it or run it whatever is most convenient for you! Stairs are my absolute favorite move in any exercise routine.

Cool down:


March in place, then stretch- quads, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, and make sure to hydrate well!