New Move Monday: Cardio Burst Video #1 (Jacks/Climbs/Steps)

Cardio bursts in a workout are very important to challenging the heart and really making the muscles work harder. I add these into my personal workout a lot and this is a combo that I made up that I use all the time. Seriously.

You don’t have to do it to music, nor this song, but I find that exercising to music with a strong beat really helps keep you working hard.

Keep the arms wider than shoulder-width apart and the gaze to the floor. BREATHE!

The basic moves on this cardio burst are:

♦ Plank Jacks

Try and keep the upper body as still as possible while jacking out the legs.

♦ Mountain Climbers

Right knee and left knee move up and back to the chest. Again, try and mobilize the torso.

♦ Step up/Step Back

Drive the right leg up to the right hand as far as you can, then step back and repeat on the other leg. To make it a little harder, drop the opposite hip to the floor as the other leg moves to the hand.

♦ Elbow Plank

Go to elbows and hold a strong plank!

I like to move down the pyramid on counting with these. Doing 16 counts for each exercise, then cutting it down to 8 counts. You can rest anytime you need and repeat as much as you like. The point is to get your heart rate HIGH, as if you are reaching the top of the mountain!

(Click here if you can’t see video)

Linking up with Women Living Well


  1. Kim A. says

    I watched this first with my jaw dropped–“I can’t do this one, Clare!” Then I looked at the time—1 min 54 seconds. Not even two minutes, I can try it. It wasn’t as hard as I thought! (I did it twice.) I’m trying to work on my arm strength; I don’t have much endurance in that area, so I could really feel it with the elbow plank!
    Thanks for sharing!
    And yes, my heart rate’s up! HA! ~Kim A.

  2. Mollie W. says


    Looking forward to trying this… not sure if I will be able too… I don’t have much endurance in my upper arms…(currently working on that) but it is only about a 2 mintue workout so we’ll see!!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. says

    Wow – going to try this today during the boys’ naptime. I have to ask though – where did you get those amazing orange shoes? I’ve been looking for a pair of orange cross trainers!

  4. Lyndsay says

    Thanks Clare for the great workout. I was wondering what you do to get the great arms? Is it Pilates or weight lifting? I am a runner but I was wanting to get more definition in my arms. I would love the input! Thanks!

    • Clare@peak313 says

      Both!! I do a lot of planks in pilates and a lot of strength training focusing on full upper body toning (shoulders, triceps, biceps and delts)

      I strength train 2-3 times a week. The key is to use weight heavy enough to make a change to the muscle.

      You can check out some of my upper body moves in the drop down box, above. Hopefully that will give you some ideas!

  5. says

    Love it! All three of those exercises are GREAT, but I have never done them all together like that! I will definitely add this in!

    Is it good to do these little bursts on days when your doing more strength exercises to get the heart rate up and burn more calories?

    For instance do some arm exercises, then a cardio burst, then some ab work, then cardio burst, etc…???


    • Clare@peak313 says

      I do these on the days I do my strength routine (Where I’m not focusing as much on cardio) You will also feel the upper body get a workout on this as well as the heart!!

      I usually do my exercises in 3’s–an upper body, lower body, then plyo/cardio burst. Repeat. You really can’t go wrong, but the idea is that you feel that you’ve got a good pumpin’ heart by the end of your routine!


      • says

        That makes perfect sense. It sounds like a great circuit training model (is that even the correct phrase?). I am still learning so much and it’s exciting to always be changing things up.

  6. Tina says


    Love this cardio burst. I’ve been doing ‘Jillian michaels’ style training: 3 min strength, 2 min cardio, 1 min abs for a total of 30 minutes… For a quick, full body workout…. Thanks- you’ve now given me a new idea for my cardio and abs!


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