While low-impact exercise may not get as much publicity as explosives, leave everything to the mat workout.

But low-impact workouts are still an effective way to burn fat, build strength and improve endurance.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is a low impact workout?

A less effective workout is one that “always has one foot on the ground,” says Amanda Lopez, CPT and Beachbody’s technical fitness advisor.

It has less effect on your joints than high-impact exercises like long runs or plywood workouts.

A less effective workout can be especially helpful if:

  • You’re just getting started with fitness, and you’re still not quite ready to handle the Burpee Bolt.
  • You are returning to your routine after the injury (of course with your doctor’s approval).
  • You’re going a little Too much Lately you have to come back from hard and exercise burnout with your workout.

No-impact vs. low-impact vs. high-impact exercise

The women finished with an indoor bike workout

So what’s the difference between a high-impact, low-impact and no-impact workout?

Low impact workout Jumping, shaking movements – but you’ll still work hard.

“Low-impact doesn’t mean low-intensity,” said Garrett Reed, MSc, CSCS, CISSN, Set for Set Head Fitness Consultant.

Need proof?

Look at the sweat on the floor after an intense indoor cycling workout, Reed added.

High-impact workout “Usually there is a lot of jumping where both feet are off the ground,” Lopez said.

As the name implies, it puts pressure on your joints.

But high-impact exercises can pump your heart out, help boost energy, and provide some benefits for bone health.

So unless you are experiencing pain, or your doctor is advising you to stick to a low-impact workout, your fitness plan may have a mixture of both.

No-impact workout Mention swimming and other water workouts in general.

What to expect from a low impact workout

Alice Joanne Barre leads the Blend Workout

Under the “low-impact” umbrella, you’ll find a variety of workout options.

These include “walking, cycling, functional strength training, dancing, swimming, hiking, yoga and pilates, to name just a few,” Lopez said.

PiYo is a perfect example of a less effective home workout that can push your limitations without putting extra strain on your joints.

This 60-day program combines muscle-sculpting pilates with yoga-inspired steps to improve strength and flexibility.

Barre Blend also includes low-impact movements like calf lifting and pliés – and you’ll feel a burning sensation in muscles you didn’t even know you had.

If you want to kickstart a healthy lifestyle, check out Clean Week.

This seven-day program combines meal plans with beginner-friendly workouts designed to help you build a foundation of cardio, strength, core function, and flexibility.

4 Benefits of a Low-Impact Workout

Swimming underwater shot in woman's lap

Here are some good reasons to add some less-impact workouts to your schedule – no matter where you are on your fitness journey.

1. Easy on your joints

“One of the biggest benefits of a low-impact workout is that it can help you build muscle by reducing your risk of injury because you’re not putting too much pressure on your joints,” Lopez said.

Bonus: This can make your workout plan more sustainable.

After all, if you skip workouts because you hurt too much to move – or, worse, you end up on the injury list – that can severely disrupt your speed.

“So often we see people go too hard, too fast, and in the end either injure themselves, re-injure themselves, or just get burned or in so much pain that they stop exercising altogether,” says Tami Smith. , CPT, Owner, Fit Healthy Mom.

2. Beginner-friendly

If you are just starting out, jumping into a workout program well above your fitness level can make you feel discouraged.

With a low-impact workout, you can go at your own pace and focus on the right form.

“It helps to create stability in the body because you are taking time with your movements,” Lopez said.

And when you start building strength and endurance, low-impact workouts can serve as a stepping stone to more intense workouts like INSANITY, Transform: 20, or 30 Day Breakaway.

“Low-impact exercise helps people start in a slow, gentle way, allowing them to see how their bodies react and feel, thereby guiding them to progress,” Smith said.

3. Effective fat-burning

Low-impact cardio, like an HIIT workout, may not burn many calories per minute, but you can still increase your heart rate.

“Low-impact workouts can help you burn more body fat,” Lopez said. “Working out to light to moderate workouts actually helps you improve aerobic fitness and endurance, which primarily creates a fat-burning zone of heart rate.”

4. Less downtime

Since low-impact workouts wear less on your body, you can work longer hours and may require less recovery time between workouts.

“You can do a low-impact exercise almost every day,” Lopez said.

If you are at a better level of fitness, you may want to use less-impact workouts for days of active recovery.

“If your body needs a break from high-impact cardio, you can always go for a walk or take a yoga or Pilates class, all of which are low-impact workouts,” Lopez added.

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