High-impact exercises may not work for everyone. People who struggle with lower back pain, knee pain, sore ankles, or hips often find high-impact exercise uncomfortable and not sustainable.
Unfortunately, many people believe that they have to work out hard and sweat buckets to get actual results. The truth is, there are plenty of low-impact exercises that will give you a satisfying workout without the nagging pains as a result. These types of workouts might be precisely what you’ve been “aching” for.
5 Low-Impact Exercises
Here are 5 of my favorite low-impact exercises that deliver results. You can incorporate them into your exercise routine for better health, less pain, and more wellness.
Cycling is a great workout. You burn calories, build endurance, strengthen muscles, and it’s all low impact! Cycling is also a versatile workout. You can bike outdoors, on a stationary bike in your home, or join a group cycling class. You can also vary the intensity to match your current fitness level.
2. Yoga / Pilates
Yoga and Pilates have exploded in popularity for people who have struggled with lower back, hip, and joint pain in the last decade. These low-impact workouts target balance, core strength, and flexibility. Like cycling, you can vary the intensity of the workouts or stretches to meet your current fitness level. And, if you like a good sweat, you can try hot yoga or hot pilates. Just remember to stay hydrated and go at your own pace.
Swimming is a well-loved, low-impact exercise option. It helps build endurance, muscle strength, and it’s an excellent exercise for heart health. It’s also what we call a “total body workout,” as you use nearly every muscle in your body while swimming. Freestyle and backstroke are highly recommended for back pain sufferers.
4. Low Impact Strength Training
Low impact strength training is perfect if you’re looking to build muscle and burn calories but need to protect sore joints. You can use weights, resistance bands, or use your body weight to create workouts that work for you and make strength training easier. As a general rule, if you’re using weights, use lighter weights with higher reps or heavier weights with lower reps.
If you’re doing lighter weights, using resistance bands, or your body weight for training, you can incorporate fast-paced shifts between exercises to increase your heart rate, adding a nice cardio element to the workout.
Rowing is an excellent low-impact workout that often has a calming, meditative effect. People who love this exercise often say the repetition combined with the low-impact movement helps relieve anxiety and improve overall mood.
Rowing targets the lower body (quads and booty), upper body (deltoids and lats), and core strength. And, much like swimming, you’re getting a total body workout with little to no stress on the joints.
Get More Fitness Tips
Love these low-impact options? You can join me on OpenFit and try five 10-minute workouts that target your abs from every angle. Plus five mini-band routines to help you burn fat and sculpt your entire body in under 20 minutes!
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