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10 Minute High Intensity Cardio Workout

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There’s no such thing as “not enough time” for a workout. At AKT our classes are 45-60 minutes but that doesn’t mean you need that much time for your workout to be effective. Below you’ll find your new go-to 10 minute high intensity cardio workout for when you are pressed for time.

What is a High Intensity Cardio Workout?

A cardio workout is a workout that elevates your heart rate which strengthens your heart, improving the efficiency in which your heart can pump oxygen rich blood to the body. A high intensity workout is often thought of as a high impact workout, or workout involving jumping, though it doesn’t need to be. High intensity really refers to the level of which you are exerting in your workout. In a high intensity workout, you are working to improve your stamina. A high intensity cardio workout should leave you breathless. This happens when you are working at about 85-100% of your maximum heart rate. Utilizing a heart rate monitor is the best way to know if your workout is a high intensity cardio workout. Though you can also measure your level of exertion by how you feel. If it is difficult to say more than a few words while you exercise, it is a high intensity cardio workout. 

Different Types of Cardio High Intensity Workouts

Explain different types of high intensity cardio workouts such as dance / AKT, HIIT, boxing, etc. and include 1-2 paragraphs for each individual of modality.

When thinking about high intensity cardio workouts, the sky is the limit. Below are a few examples of different high intensity cardio workouts. 


Dance is an AKT favorite for several reasons. Dance cardio elevates the heart rate in a fun way. Though challenging, it doesn’t always feel like you’re working out. This makes it a great option for those who don’t typically enjoy fitness. Dance is also one of the best functional cardio workouts. When you dance, you are moving on all planes of motion, often replicating movement patterns that you do in daily life, which is why we say; “nothing prepares you for AKT, but AKT prepares you for everything”. 

Dance is also a workout for your brain! In our AKT dance classes, you are learning choreography. This keeps your mind engaged in the workout and can help to create new neural pathways in the brain.

Circuit Training

Circuit Training can be a very effective high intensity cardio workout depending on the exercises in the circuits. Typically circuit training is referred to as High Intensity Interval Training because it often incorporates short bursts of high intensity cardio (or strength training) followed by recovery periods. The recovery time allows your heart rate to drop, enabling you to continue to push yourself to your max in the next high intensity interval.


Swimming is an excellent example of a high intensity cardio exercise that is also low impact. While swimming elevates the heart rate, it does not put any impact or pressure on the joints, making it a great option for many people. 

Running, Cycling, Stair Climbing, Hiking

All of these are effective high intensity cardio workouts. They will all spike your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health. What they all have in common is that they primarily occur on the Sagittal Plane of motion (moving forward and backward). While this is not inherently a “bad” thing, it is an important thing to know if this is your main form of cardio. Movements that only occur on the Sagittal Plane are best paired with functional strength training that incorporates the other two planes of motion (Frontal and Transverse) in order to maintain balance and optimal functionality in the body.

Sample 10 Minute High Intensity Cardio Workout

Repeat 3 rounds of each circuit, followed by 1 minute recovery before beginning the next circuit.

Round 1 - 30 seconds each 

Round 2 - 30 seconds each 

Round 3 - 15 seconds each 


Exercise 1 - Jack & Throw

Jump feet out and in like a jumping. On the jump out, throw the arms forward using your back muscles to create some resistance.

Exercise 2 - Mountain Climbers

In a plank position, alternate driving one knee in at a time, picking up the pace like you are running. 

Exercise 3 - Squat Jumps

Begin in a parallel squat position, jump from the bottom of the squat then land, rolling though the feet and return to the squat. 


Exercise 1 - 1,2,3’s

Moving side to side; lift one knee, then the other quickly, then switch one more time and hold. Alternate sides.

Exercise 2 - Burpee

From a plank position, step or jump your feet to a squat position, then jump (just like the squat jump in circuit 1). Land back in the squat with hands on the floor, and jump or step back to the plank. 

Exercise 3 - 4x Step Hop, 4x Step Kick

For the step hop, step on one foot and hop while throwing the arms forward and bending your back knee. Repeat 4 times traveling slightly forward while alternating sides. 

For the step kick, step on one foot, then hop and kick the other leg forward while swinging the opposite arm across the body. Adding a slight torso twist to activate the obliques. Repeat 4 times traveling backward while alternating sides. 

Experience the Best High Intensity Cardio Workout at AKT!

AKT is known for high intensity cardio workouts that are functional and FUN! We incorporate high intensity cardio into 3 of the 4 class types at AKT; DANCE, BANDS and CIRCUIT. Each providing a slightly different challenge that’s unique to AKT and sure to spike your heart rate while putting a smile on your face. 

Try out AKT for yourself at a studio near you! https://www.theakt.com/location-search

FAQs About AKT and High Intensity Cardio Workouts

What are some high intensity cardio workouts?

Common high intensity cardio workouts include running, cycling, dance cardio, step aerobics (or at AKT, BANDS), HIIT and more! The key to high intensity cardio workouts is finding the one that you enjoy doing! If you enjoy it, you’re more likely to stick with it. 

Is 10 minutes of high intensity cardio enough?

High intensity cardio is less about duration and more about level of exertion. If you are working at at least 85% of your maximum heart rate, 10 minutes of high intensity cardio is absolutely enough. Though, for a true comprehensive workout program, it’s important to include strength and flexibility training as well. 

Can you lose weight doing 10 minutes of cardio a day?

You may be able to lose weight doing 10 minutes of cardio per day, though there are many other factors that contribute to weight loss and for most people, straight cardio exercise is not the most effective or efficient way to lose weight. For someone who is just starting their fitness journey, 10 minutes of high intensity cardio per day is likely to jumpstart their weight loss journey.

Why does AKT have the best high intensity cardio workout?

AKT has the best high intensity cardio workouts because we give you everything that you need in each workout. It’s never just a cardio workout, though it is certainly a high intensity cardio workout. We incorporate functional strength training and dynamic flexibility so you can take the guesswork out of working out. We also change up the programming every few weeks to continually challenge your body and new ways. This helps you avoid boredom in your workout program and prevent a plateau in your results. At AKT, all you have to do is show up and sweat with us!

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