5 Lower-Intensity Exercises to try at the gym today

After years of promoting HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), trainers are now keen on LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) cardio to ramp up results at the gym.

Whether you’re a cardio enthusiast or strength training addict, there’s room in your routine for LISS. Try these sample workouts to get started.

Cardio Warm-Up for Lower Intensity Exercises

  1. Start off by marching in place, swinging your arms as you march. (Do this for 8 counts of 8)
  2. Slow down the march but make the movements bigger, lifting the knees higher than the waist, with bigger arm swings. (4 counts of 8)
  3. Continuing with the high knee lifts, push the hands forward as if you are pushing something away from you. (4 sets of 8)
  4. Keep the high knees and “raise the roof,” pushing the arms high over your head. (4 sets of 8)

Exercise 1


  1. Standing with the feet hip distance apart, knees soft, and with a slight lean forward, bring your arms out in front of you with the elbows slightly bent. Hands should be shoulder height, and shoulders should be kept down.
  2. Bring your hands in without allowing your elbows to drop. Stop when the elbows are at a 90-degree angle and then extend them back out. (4 sets of 8)


  1. Keeping your arms out in front of your body, elbows soft, bend at the knees to bring the body into a squat position. Perform small pulses by bending the knees deeper, keeping your chest up and your butt reaching back. (4 sets of 8)


  1. Keeping the same stance with your arms out in front, create a deep bend in the knees.
  2. Come back to almost completely straight.
  3. Perform these moves with the same posture as the last exercise (chest up, butt reaching back when in the squat position). (4 sets of 8)

Exercise 2


  1. Sit with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and your hands on the floor behind you with your fingers facing your toes. Press your hips up toward the ceiling and squeeze your butt. 
  2. Holding that position, pulse up and down by only bending your elbows. 
  3. Add a cardio blast by keeping the movement small and fast. Try to keep your hips up throughout the entire exercise. (4 sets of 8)


  1. Raise one leg toward the ceiling and repeat the exercise above. (2 counts of 8 for each leg raise) 

Exercise 3


  1. Bring your body into a plank position with your hands on the floor directly beneath your shoulders, with your arms straight and shoulders back. The feet should be hip distance apart, with the knees straight, the glutes squeezed tight and the abs engaged. 
  2. Bend one arm at a time, bringing your elbow to the floor. 
  3. Repeat on the other side until you are holding an elbow plank. 
  4. Lift one foot off the ground as high as you can, then bring it back to the floor. 
  5. Lift your other foot off the ground and back to the floor. 
  6. Straighten one arm at a time until you are back to your original plank position. 
  7. Repeat set starting with opposite arm bending first. Perform the moves quickly to boost the cardio effects. (8 sets each side)

(Modification: Perform with the knees down, lifting knees off the ground instead of feet.)

Exercise 4


  1. Sit on the floor with your legs open to a narrow “V” shape.
  2. Focusing on the right leg, place the fingertips of your left hand on the floor between your legs, and the fingertips of your right hand on the floor outside of your right leg.
  3. Keeping your weight as forward as possible and engaging your abs, lift your right leg off the ground. 
  4. Pulse the leg up toward the ceiling, keeping the leg as straight as possible. (Perform 4 sets of 8 on each side)

Exercise 5


  1. Lay on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor at hip distance apart. Roll through the spine and press your hips up toward the ceiling.
  2. Drop your butt down to the floor, and then press back up toward the ceiling.
  3. Perform these pulses as fast as you can to boost the cardio effect. (4 sets of 8)
  4. Performing the same moves as above, lift one leg up toward the ceiling and pulse your butt up and down. Repeat on the other side. (2 sets of 8 each leg) 

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