I tried this 20-minute no-jumping cardio workout and found it was the perfect way to squeeze movement into a busy day

Get your heart rate up with this quick and effective low-impact workout from Rachel's Fit Pilates

Woman squats in a living room, her knees are bent and her hips are pushed back, she holds her arms straight our in front of her. She is wearing bright orange athletic leggings, a white top and her black hair is in a high ponytail.
(Image credit: Eleganza / Getty Images)

I'm always on the lookout for workouts that are 20 minutes or less. While I need to find a spot in my schedule for a workout that's 30 minutes or longer, I can usually squeeze in shorter workouts either before work or during my lunch break. A quick hit of cardio exercise is a great way to get my heart rate up, boost my metabolism and avoid energy slumps during the day.

So when I came across this no-jumping cardio workout on the popular Rachel's Fit Pilates YouTube channel, I was keen to give it a try. You might want to avoid jumping and opt for a low-impact workout if you're returning from an injury or want to go easy on your joints or your pelvic floor. Perhaps you live in an apartment and don't want to disturb your neighbors. I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy, feeling heavy and getting out of breath easily so a bounce-free workout appeals to me too. I'm still aiming to include some exercise most days, so a short cardio session is an ideal way to fit movement into my working day.

You may think that no jumping means it will be an easy workout, but rest assured you can still challenge yourself without both feet leaving the floor at once. Towards the end of the workout I was out of breath and sweating hard and I needed those 20-second breaks to recover. It was good to see that the super-fit Rachel was also noticeably out of breath by the end of the video.

How to do this quick and intense no-jumping cardio workout from Rachel's Fit Pilates

Quick & Intense Cardio Workout | All Standing NO JUMPING | Under 20 Min - YouTube Quick & Intense Cardio Workout | All Standing NO JUMPING | Under 20 Min - YouTube
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There are 10 exercises in the main part of the workout, and you'll do each for 40 seconds, followed by a 20-second rest. There's a four-minute warm-up beforehand which runs through the exercises to come at a gentler pace, and there's three minutes of stretching at the end.

Fast-paced standing jacks, jump rope steps and high knees will get you working hard without any jumping, though there's the option to add jumps to a few of the movements if you want.

There are several squat and lunge variations, too. "These might seem like strength moves," Rachel says in the video, "but we're going to go through them quickly, that's what's going to get the heart rate up."

Rachel encourages you to find a pace that works for you. I aimed to keep up with her—but slowed down when I got too out of breath—and found the beat of the music helped with this too.

"You choose how low you go," when squatting Rachel says in the video, and I adjusted the depth of my squats to suit the intensity I wanted, sometimes taking my feet a little wider to make it more comfortable.

The short stretching session at the end was a welcome way to finish. After I'd completed the workout I felt great, like I'd worked hard and got my heart rate up but wasn't completely exhausted. My energy levels were also pretty good for the rest of the day. I'll definetely do this workout again when I need a quick blast of movement during my day.

Contributing writer

Camilla Artault is a fitness writer with a passion for running and yoga. She interviews experts and writes about a wide range of topics for Fit&Well encompassing health, fitness and nutrition.