You can thank fitness all-star Felicia Romero for this plyo box burner.

By Lauren Mazzo

What pops into your head when you hear the word "cardio"? Treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and a torturous 20 minutes staring at the clock?

News flash: Even though weightlifting lovers and the internet love to hate on cardio, it doesn't need to be the worst thing in the world. Actually, a killer cardio circuit designed to test your athletic skills and get your HR soaring in the process can not only be a lot of fun, but it can be over in a matter of minutes. (Also see: The Treadmill Trend That Makes Running Way Less Boring)

Take this circuit by Felicia Romero, Arizona-based trainer and owner of Fit Method, as an example. All you need is a plyometric box, step, or bench, some open space, and 10 minutes to push your cardio limits-no machines, TVs, or boredom required. Guaranteed, you won't have the time (or energy!) to watch the clock.

How it works: Do each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next. Repeat the entire circuit 3 times total.

You'll need: A timer and a box, bench, or step

Box Jump

A. Stand just in front of a box with feet shoulder-width apart.

B. Swing arms and hinge hips back with a tall chest, flat back, and engaged core.

C. Swing arms forward, using momentum to jump up and slightly forward, landing softly with both feet completely on the box.

D. Stand up, locking out the knees and extending hips. Carefully step back down to the ground.

Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

Burpee Squat Hold

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down into a ready position with knees bent and hands in front of chest. This is your starting position.

B. Place palms flat on the floor shoulder-width apart, and immediately jump feet back to a high plank position.

C. Immediately jump feet forward on the outside of hands, and pop torso up to return to the starting position with knees bent and hands in front of chest.

Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

Single-Leg Step-Up with a Jump

A. Stand about a foot in front of a box with the right foot flat on the box. Pump right arm forward and left arm back to start.

B. Push into right foot to stand on top of the box, driving left knee up into a high knee, hopping a few inches off the box on the right foot, and swinging right arm forward opposite left knee.

C. Softly land back on right foot with a soft knee and carefully step left foot down to the ground.

Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side before moving onto the next move.

Jump Squat with a Heel Tap

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hips and knees to lower into a squat, hands clasped in front of chest. This is your starting position.

B. Jump, swinging arms back and kicking heels together to touch at the top of the jump.

C. Land softly and immediately lower into a squat to return to starting position.

Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.


A. Stand with feet together.

B. Take a large hop to the left, landing on the left foot while right leg shoots back and to the left behind left leg, landing in a curtsy lunge.

C. Push off left leg to take a large hop to the right, landing on the right foot while left leg shoots back and to the right behind right leg, landing in a curtsy lunge. Continue alternating sides.

Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

Plank Jacks

A. Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrists and feet together.

B. Keeping core engaged and hips high, hop feet apart, then back together.

Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

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