4-Move Cardio Endurance Workout Routine Copy

Hop, march, and plank your way to a good workout today.

Welcome to Week 2 of the SELF Better Together Challenge! Today’s cardio endurance workout is all about building stamina so you can work harder for longer periods of time.

Cardio gets a bad rap frequently, because, well, it can feel challenging. It’s uncomfortable to feel out of breath, and cardio training—think running, swimming, cycling, or rowing—can feel downright boring if you prefer a more dynamic routine. But building cardiovascular strength actually has several benefits—even if you never want to run a single race. For one, cardio-endurance workouts can help your heart to work more efficiently, better at pumping blood throughout your body. Exercise of any kind has been shown to be a mood booster, and in some studies, cardio has even been shown to help improve cognitive function. In short: Cardio exercise is good for you.

The best way to build cardio endurance is to first establish a good cardio baseline. That means you start slow—literally. Use the talk test to assess how you feel. If you can easily carry on a conversation, you’re probably not working hard enough. But if you can’t get a word out because you’re breathing so hard, that’s too much. Try to find a sweet spot where you can say a few words between breaths, but can’t carry a full conversation easily.

The good news is that the more cardio you do, the easier it gets. And not every workout should be super challenging. In fact, you’re likely to get more out of your workouts and see results faster if you vary the intensity and take regular rest days. As with all workouts, warming up properly is especially important when doing cardio workouts. Try this five-minute routine first, then dive in below.

The cardio endurance workout below is for Day 8 of the SELF Better Together Challenge. Check out the full month of workouts right here. Or go to the workout calendar here. If you haven’t signed up to receive daily emails, do that here.WORKOUT DIRECTIONS

Do each move below for your selected period of time. At the end of each circuit, rest for 60 seconds. Do the entire circuit 3–5 times.

  • Option 1: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
  • Option 2: 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest
  • Option 3: 50 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest


  • Rainbow Hop
  • Glute Bridge March
  • Frogger
  • Rainbow Plank
  • Rainbow Hop


Do each move below back-to-back for 30 seconds, with no rest for a total of 2 minutes.

  • Forearm Plank Hold
  • Bicycle Crunch
  • Rainbow HopRemi Pyrdol1Rainbow Hop
    • Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
    • Squat and lean toward the right so that more of your weight is on the right side of your body and fingertips tap the floor on your right side.
    • Spring up, raise arms overhead, and land lightly, shifting weight to the left side. Tap fingertips to the left.
    • Continue to jump and land on alternating sides.
  • Person doing glutebridge marchesKatie Thompson2Glute Bridge March
    • Lie faceup with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and heels a few inches away from your butt so that your fingertips graze your heels when arms are at your sides.
    • Squeeze your glutes, engage your core, and lift your hips, keeping your knees close together (don’t let your legs splay wide as you lift).
    • Hold in the lifted position and march your right leg, then your left leg, without dropping your hips.
    • Once all reps are completed, place both feet back on the floor, and slowly lower your hips to return to your starting position.
  • froggersKatie Thompson3Frogger
    • Start in a high plank position, with your palms flat on the floor, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
    • Jump your feet forward and land them lightly outside your hands. Lift your chest, drop your butt down so that you’re in the bottom portion of a squat, and lift your hands off the floor.
    • Then lean forward again, place your hands back on the floor in between your feet, and jump your feet back out to return to a high plank.
    • Continue to move as quickly as possible.

WATCH20-Minute Total Arms Workout

  • Image may contain Human Person Sport Sports Exercise Working Out Fitness Stretch and YogaKelsey McClellan4Rainbow Plank
    • Start in a forearm plank, with your forearms on the floor, elbows directly underneath your shoulders, hands facing forward so that your arms are parallel, and legs extended behind you. Tuck your tailbone and engage your core, butt, and quads. This is the starting position.
    • Using your core, rock your hips to the right and let them fall toward the floor. Your hips do not actually have to tap the floor.
    • Bring your hips back through center, then rock them to the left, letting your left hip fall toward the floor.
    • Continue in this way, rocking your hips side to side. Be conscious to not pike your hips too high, and make sure you’re engaging your core to make the movement happen.
  • Forearm plankKatie Thompson5Forearm Plank Hold
    • Place your forearms on the floor, elbows directly underneath your shoulders, hands facing forward so that your arms are parallel. Extend your legs behind you, feet hip-width apart. Tuck your tailbone and engage your core, butt, and quads.
    • Hold.
    • Make it easier: If it’s difficult to hold the plank for the full time period, gently allow your knees to come to the floor, take a few deep breaths, then lift them again. Resist the urge to simply collapse your chest to the floor. Work to bring knees to the floor with control, then lift them again.
  • Bicycle crunchKatie Thompson6Bicycle Crunch
    • Lie faceup with your feet off the ground so your shins are parallel to the floor, knees bent to 90 degrees and stacked over your hips. Place your hands behind your head, elbows bent and pointing out to the sides. Use your abs to raise your shoulders off the floor.
    • Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, while simultaneously straightening your right leg.
    • Then twist to bring your left elbow to your right knee, simultaneously straightening your left leg.
    • Continue alternating sides. Go at a slow, steady pace so you can really twist and feel your abs working.