Hate Running? Here's a 20-Minute Cardio Workout To Do Instead

Let’s be honest, not everyone jumps at the idea of going for a run when it’s cardio day. While running is often a go-to to get your cardio in, some people just hate running. That’s when you know it’s time to switch your cardio workout to a routine you actually enjoy doing.

While running is great for your heart and burns calories, it is also hard on your joints and increases exposure to injury. Thankfully, running is not the only way to engage in cardio.

Activities such as cycling and rowing are great alternatives to running and will give you the change you need to maximize your performance. Other popular cardio workouts include HIIT, which has gained traction due to the ability to perform HIIT routines anywhere and at any time.

This HIIT workout combines Tabata circuits and an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) circuit.

20-Minute Cardio Workout

The trick is to really give it your all during this routine to reap all the benefits it brings to your fitness without having to force yourself to go on a run.

  • Perform this routine at least twice a week.
  • Do a quick warm-up for a couple of minutes before starting this routine.

Workout No. 1: Tabata Jump Squats

Perform prisoner jump squats with heel taps for a total of 4 minutes. Perform for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Rest: 60 seconds.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes outward. Open up your chest and interlace your fingers behind your head.
  • Keeping your core engaged, bend your knees and push your hips back to lower down to squat.
  • Explosively jump your heels together to tap and land softly in the starting position followed by another prisoner squat.

Workout No. 2: AMRAP

Start in plank position followed by 20 mountain climbers and 20 plank shoulder taps. Walk back out to standing. Do as many rounds as you can in 4 minutes. Rest: 60 seconds.


  • Get into a high plank position with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your hips in line with your shoulders.
  • To perform mountain climbers, bring your left knee to your left elbow and bring it back out. Alternate your legs to balance out the sides. Perform these movements as fast or slow as you like.
  • For an added twist, bring the opposite knee to the opposite elbow.
  • To perform plank shoulder taps, when you are in plank position, bring your right hand to your left shoulder and back down. Do the same using the opposite hand and continue to alternate sides.
  • Make sure your movements are controlled and your core is engaged the whole time.

Workout No. 3: Tabata Lateral Lunges

Perform alternating lateral lunges with runner’s jumps for 4 minutes. Perform for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Rest: 60 seconds.


  • Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and step out to the right.
  • Bend your right knee and lower down to a lateral lunge, hinging forward at the hips. Keep your chest lifted and your core tight and engaged. Your knee should she behind your toes.
  • Shift your weight in your right heel to return to standing and immediately bring it toward your chest to hop up.
  • Land softly on your left foot and perform the next rep. Remember to alternate sides each minute.

Workout No. 4: Tabata Burpees

Perform burpees with tuck jumps for 4 minutes. Perform for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Rest: 60 seconds.


  • Keeping your core tight and engaged, bend forward to reach your hands to the floor and jump out to a high plank position, with your shoulders stacked above your wrists.
  • Step your feet toward your wrists and explode into a jump, bringing your knees toward your chest into a tuck jump.
  • Land softly on the ground and immediately repeat this exercise.

Workout adapted from self.com.

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