A pair of running shoes and a small house inside a fishbowl.
Illustrations: Jaedoo Lee

The Social-Distancing Cardio Workout

How to keep moving when you can’t go very far

Juno DeMelo
Published in
4 min readMar 30, 2020

IfIf you live in a denser area, it might not be easy to walk, run, or bike while maintaining a safe distance from others right now. (Or maybe you’re just used to relying on a treadmill at your now-closed gym for your cardio needs.) So how can you get your heart pumping in your living room? One idea is to give plyometrics a try: These fast-paced, jump-based moves tax your muscles quickly and leave you breathless.

“These plyometric moves elevate your heart rate and allow you to push the intensity knowing you’ll get a rest.”

“Similar to intervals on a treadmill, these plyometric moves elevate your heart rate and allow you to push the intensity knowing you’ll get a rest,” says Mark Uyeda, a certified trainer at the Refinery, a fitness studio in Portland, Oregon, who designed the workout below. “They can be done in a small space with no equipment, and you can adjust the work-rest ratios depending on your fitness level.”


Do bodyweight squats or jump rope (if you have one) for 1 to 2 minutes.


Here’s how to structure your workout.

  • Beginner: 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest
  • Advanced: 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest

Go through each move, in order, following the work and rest pattern prescribed above, then perform the entire series of 7 moves a second time. The warm-up, workout, and cooldown should take you close to 20 minutes.

1. Squat jumps

With your feet about shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out slightly, squat, putting your weight in your heels, puffing your chest up and out, and keeping your knees tracking over your toes. As soon as you hit the bottom of your squat, jump back up as high as you can. Land softly, using your momentum to jump up again.

2. Seal jacks



Juno DeMelo

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