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A 10-Minute Seated Cardio Workout for Every Body, Guaranteed To Make You Sweat

Person wearing red tank top and purple leggings doing a seated cardio workout

Photo: Getty Images/ Rapeepong Puttakumwong

The benefits of adding cardio exercise into your daily routine? Well, the list is seemingly endless.

Cardiovascular exercise improves your stamina and energy levels, boosts your metabolism, and reduces your stress levels, blood pressure, and chance of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic health conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What if we told you that you could still get all of this by sitting down?

This seated cardio workout is high-intensity and will keep your heart rate elevated, make you sweat, and leave you feeling strong. Not only that, but it’s a great option if you’re new to strength training (or getting back into it after a long break), rehabbing an injury, or have limited mobility.

Ready to get started? Perform each exercise below for 50 seconds, resting 10 seconds before beginning the next exercise. Move through each exercise in order, then repeat the sequence one more time. The whole workout should take around 10 minutes to complete, perfect for anyone who wants a quick pick-me-up.

1. Seated march

Personal trainer demonstrating seated march exercise

  1. Start by sitting toward the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back and your torso tall.
  2. Lift one foot off of the floor, then set it back down.
  3. Lift your other foot off the floor, then set it back down.
  4. Slightly lift your elbows and pump your arms as you alternate your marches.
  5. Continue marching for 50 seconds.

2. Seated jumping jack

  1. Start by sitting toward the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back and your torso tall.
  2. Let both arms hang down at your sides.
  3. Swing your arms up and lift them overhead.
  4. At the same time you reach your arms overhead, hop both feet out to the side.
  5. As you return your arms back to the starting position, hop your feet back in.
  6. Continue doing seated jumping jacks for 50 seconds.

3. Alternating elbow-to-knee rotation

  1. Start by sitting toward the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back and your torso tall.
  2. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows flared out to the sides.
  3. Lift your right leg off the floor.
  4. At the same time, rotate your torso to the right so you connect your left elbow to your right knee.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  6. Continue alternating knee-to-elbow rotations for 50 seconds.

4. Cross-body punch

  1. Start by sitting toward the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back and your torso tall.
  2. Make two fists with your hands and bring both arms up in front of your face.
  3. Rotate your torso to the right and extend your left arm out, punching toward a slight angle to the right as you twist.
  4. Pull your left arm back and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
  6. Continue alternating cross-body punches for 50 seconds.

5. Alternating side reach

  1. Start by sitting toward the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back and your torso tall.
  2. Shift your weight to you left glute and lean slightly in that direction.
  3. Keeping your chest open, reach your right arm overhead to the left.
  4. At the same time kick your right leg out to the side.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  6. Continue alternating side reaches for 50 seconds.
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