Looking for a bit more tone and muscular engagement but not looking for high intensity or even dynamic movement at the moment?
- Maybe you're nursing a chronic injury?
- Or did a snowboarder take out your knee this past winter while skiing? (I'm a boarder so I can say that;)
- Or an annoying lower back issue that screeches at you when you move too quickly or land too hard?
- Maybe you just want to slow down the precision of your movements to build stability and awareness within the body?
Low impact does not have to yield low results. Here are 3 low impact movements for noticeable results:
1. THE HOVER: Obliques and Shoulders
Setup:Mindfully make your way into right side plank. Your right hand should be on the earth firmly planted (especially that inner triad of index finger, thumb, and the meaty part of the base of the thumb). Make sure the right hand is slightly further away from your feet than your right shoulder. Start by either stacking your left foot on top of your right or letting it rest on the earth slightly in front of the right foot (toes pointing to the side wall along with the belly). Place your left hand on the left hip or extend the left arm towards the sky.
Low Impact Movement:
- Begin by HUGGING your right obliques into the midline and press the right hand down and slightly forward to create an ARCH in the right side of the body away from the earth.
- Then, pressing firmly into the ground with the right outer foot and right hand, begin to HOVER the left leg off the right.
- Keep pressing down with your right hand, right foot, and hugging the right side of the body up as you slowly bend the left leg and lift the left knee as if you could REACH it up to the sky.
- As you do this, look down at your right hand and begin to ROLL onto your right toes (right heel slowly lifts). As you roll your chest forward, HUG the left knee tight towards the left armpit slowly stepping the left foot to the front of the mat. WITHOUT PUTTING YOUR LEFT HAND ONTO THE EARTH!
Don't worry if the first time you try this you only make it half-way forward. This movement relies HEAVILY on core and shoulder stabilization. The KEY is to gather the energy up to the right side of the body essentially BOWING the right side of the body up and in and then PRESSING the right foot and hand away from each other during the movement. As you end up with that left foot forward you also want to end up in a bit of a COW spine. Drop the right knee down and take any version of low lunge that feels yummy.
Gentler version:Come into side plank with the right knee down on the earth and the left leg extended to the back edge of the mat. Your hips should be open to the side wall and your left hand either on the hip or arm extended to the sky. Everything remains similar for the right hand and arm to the initial version. You can work the same oblique and BOWING movement as you try to LIFT the left leg and then bend the left knee and reach it up to the sky! Now look down and SUPER HONEY SLOW, step the left foot to the front of the mat, parallel to the right hand. The only tricky part to this version is that you'll have to spin a bit on your right knee so be careful if that's your problem area.
Extra Zinger:Want to try it with the top leg straight as you step the foot forward? Everything else stays the same except you will need to HOLLOW OUT the belly even more and PRESS into the earth even more with the bottom hand.
(Don't forget the other side.)
2. THE TRIPLE WHAMMY: Quadriceps, Outer Hips, and Glutes
Setup:This one beings in standing Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with hands pressing together at heart center. With your right leg as the base, slowly transfer the weight to the right foot and bring your left knee into your chest.Keep the spine long and energy expending up. (TIP - keep your left foot either flexed, pointed, or flointed (foot pointed/toes flexed), no loose left ankles!)
Find one lucky spot to focus on with your vision and begin to hinge the upper body forward as you extend the left leg straight back hehind you, making your way into Warrior 3. Hips should remain an even distance from the earth. To help this action, HUG your outer hips into the midline and feel as iff the hips were LIFTING off of the right base leg. (There should be a LIGHTNESS to Warrior 3 as if the hips were a cloud hovering above the right femur bone.) Spine and left leg are parallel to the floor, and belly is drawn slightly in and to protect the lower back.
Low Impact Movement:
- Without lifting the upper body, begin to BEND into the right and left leg and draw the left knee behind the right knee in a low squat. The lower you go, the harder it gets, so start small and then go deeper as you feel ready.
- Now here's the tough part: begin to straighten into both legs and HUG the outer hips (especially the right hip) into midline so it doesn't pop out and get sassy to the right side of your mat.
- Press back up into Warrior 3 with the left leg extended behind you and the left foot active. (3 ankle options listed above).
- Repeat this squat 3-5 more times until you can just barely lift to Warrior 3.
- Then set the left foot to meet the right and shake out those legs like the tender meat could fall off the bone.
Gentler version:This one begins the same in standing Mountain pose (Tasadana) with hands pressing together at heart center. Again, with your right leg as the base, slowly transfer the weight to the right foot and bring your left knee into your chest. Keep the spine long and energy expending up. (TIP - keep your left food either flexed, pointed, or flointed (foot pointed/toes flexed), no loose left ankles!)
Find one lucky spot to focus on with your vision. Now begin to hinge slightly forward, but instead of transitioning through Warrior 3, bend into both knees and tuck the left knee behind the right, thereby SKIPPING the Warrior 3 portion of the movement. Now as you slowly straighten into the right leg, immediately bring the left knee back into the chest and stand up. Repeat 3-5 times and switch legs. Don't forget the shake in between.
Extra Zinger:Add all 3 together! Standing left knee to chest, W3, low squat with left knee behind right (maybe you squat so low the left knee even touches the ground), lift back through W3, and then lift the left knee back to the chest. Repeat 5 times. SHAKE vigorously!
(Don't forget the other side).
3. JALAPENO SHOULDERS: Shoulders and Spine
Setup:Lying prone (lie face down on your belly) with a block at the front of the mat. Extend your arms straight in front of you and turn the palms so they are facing one another. Bring your ATTENTION to your lower belly and feel it draw in towards the spine. Imagine your tail bone extending long toward your heels. Legs should be hips distance apart and parallel to one another with the tops of the feet on the earth and heels the same distance apart as the toes. (A.k.a. make sure the heels do not fall in towards each other). Another way to say this is to keep the front of the thighs INTERNALLY rotating towards one another.
Low Impact Movement:
- With arms remaining extended, take the block between your palms (recommend widest width of the block). No cheating and gripping with the fingers underneath the block to hold it off the ground! The only thing that should be keeping the block from falling is the pressure of your hands on both sides pinning it in space.
- Now INHALE and lift the heart slightly forward and off the ground to peel the upper body up (try not to lift your chin forward so you can keep the back of the neck LONG).
- As you do this,SQUEEZE the block with your hands as you lift it slightly higher.
- On the exhale, transfer the block to hold it with your left hand and slowly sweep your left arm wide to the left and around your back - block still in hand. Your upper chest will naturally drop back down to the earth slightly on the exhale and sweeping movement.
- Let your right hand meet the left behind the back and SQUEEZE the block between the two hands as you inhale and lift the block and chest.
- As you exhale, transfer the block into the right hand, hold it tight, and sweep the right arm around and forward. Let the left hand meet the right hand (arms extended) back in front of you.
- Repeat 3-5 times. KEY - keep the lower belly engaged and drawing in. Keep the tops of the feet pressing into the earth for stability and follow the natural breath cycle.
Switch directions and repeat.
Gentler Version:Start with a foam versus a cork block. Begin the exact same way lying prone on the belly with arms extended forward.However, instead of squeezing the block to lift and and simultaneously lifting the chest as you inhale, just transfer the block to the left hand and let your chest stay on the ground. Sweep the left arm behind the back and rest the block on your lower back or butt. Sweep your right arm behind you to grab the block and then with the same sweeping motion, bring your right arm forward to meet the left. Transfer the block between hands, right to left and continue this sequence 3-5 times.
Switch Directions (start with block in the right hand forward) and repeat.
Extra Zinger:Everything stays the same as the initial version except you ADD and extra breath during the SQUEEZE of the block portion of the movement. Inhale squeeze block in front of you and lift, hold for exhale, inhale lift block and chest higher, then exhale and sweep the left arm behind the back. Repeat behind the back. Start over and repeat 3-5 times.
Switch Directions and repeat.
Adding these 3 low impact movements, the Hover, the Triple Whammy and Jalapeño Shoulders, to your weekly routine will provide noticeable results in just a few weeks.
The Hover takes time, so be patient.
The Triple Whammy tests persistence, so enjoy the simmer of frustration as you wobble.
Jalapeño Shoulders will quickly turn from a simmer to a burn, so good luck and enjoy the heat! ;)
What are low impact activities examples? ›
Low Impact: Slower Results, Easier on the Body
Examples include cycling, cardio on the elliptical machine, hiking, yoga, Pilates, and dancing. Because there is less impact, these exercises tend to be gentler on the joints and muscles.
Low-impact exercise gets your heart rate up slowly and causes less pressure on your joints than high-impact exercise. Popular forms of low-impact exercise include walking, yoga, Pilates, swimming, skating, cross-country skiing, and golf.What are two types of low impact activity? ›
Low impact exercises can mean anything that doesn't involve putting a lot of strain and weight through your muscles and joints while exercising. These include the likes of swimming, aqua classes, Yoga, Pilates, Bodybalance classes and cycling.What are the best low impact cardio moves? ›
Low-impact cardio exercises like swimming, cycling and walking can be both safe and effective as these moves are typically easier on your joints than high-impact exercises like running or jumping rope.What is an example of impact activity? ›
High-impact exercises tend to involve a lot of jumping and jolting movements, which often involve both of your feet coming off the ground at the same time. These movements can put a lot of force on your bones and joints when you land. Some common examples of high impact exercises include: Running.What is low impact exercise everyday? ›
Low-impact exercises put less stress on your body, reducing the need for rest days. You can remain consistently active. Studies show that something as simple as walking for just one hour every day decreases the rate of depression, boosts your mood, gives you energy, and helps reduce anxiety.Are push ups low impact? ›
Low-impact strength training includes exercises like squats that keep both feet on the ground, or pushups that keep both feet and hands on the ground, eliminating the bounce or the jump from any exercise.What are the types of low impact strength training? ›
Low-impact strength training is a form of exercise that focuses on increasing strength and endurance while putting less stress on your joints and connective tissues. It typically involves lunges, squats, and resistance band exercises that maintain at least one foot on the ground.What is low impact walking? ›
Brisk walking is considered a moderate-intensity, low-impact workout that does not exert excess strain on joints (hip, knee, ankles) that are susceptible to injury with higher-impact workouts. People may think that walking is not as effective as higher-impact workouts.What are three low impact aerobic activities? ›
- Exercise walking. Exercise walking differs from everyday walking in that it is faster paced with the goal of elevating the heart rate and gently working the muscles. ...
- Elliptical trainer or step machine. ...
- Stationary bicycling. ...
- Swimming and water aerobics.
What is an example of low and high impact exercise? ›
High impact exercise involves running and jumping, activities that cause greater impact on joints and on your feet. Low impact involves stepping, walking, and other movements that don't get your feet pounding against the ground.Are squats low impact? ›
The perennial favorite that everyone loves to hate is the squat. It's one of the best exercises around for low-impact aerobic work and for strengthening the lower back, shoulders, abs, and calves.What are 4 exercises that focus on cardio? ›
- Brisk walking.
- Jogging or jogging in place.
- Bear crawls.
- Water aerobics.
- Cycling/bike riding. This non-weight-bearing exercise can provide one of the best high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts around.
- Rollerblading. ...
- Rowing. ...
- Swimming. ...
The five dimensions include what the intended outcome is, who experiences it, how much of the outcome is experienced, the contribution of the business to that outcome, and the risk that the impact doesn't happen as planned.How long should a low impact workout be? ›
A low-intensity sustained-state workout is any exercise that keeps your heart rate at a steady pace of about 50% of its maximum ability and lasts for an extended period (at least 30 minutes).How to lose belly fat with low impact exercise? ›
- Walking, especially at a quick pace.
- Group fitness classes.
1. Walking. Walking may seem like a tamer option for staying healthy, but the joy of it is that it's free, is relatively low impact, and gets you out in the fresh air. Going for a walk can help to ease stress, and help with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.What exercises are low impact on joints? ›
Examples of aerobic exercises that are easy on joints include walking, bicycling, swimming and water aerobics. Try to work up to 150 minutes of somewhat hard aerobic exercise every week. You can exercise 10 minutes at a time if that's easier on your joints.Is plank low impact? ›
Need a low impact full body strength workout? Planks are the way to go! They have the advantage of building muscle, strengthening your core, and helping you lose weight. The best part is that you can complete an entire home workout with only a yoga mat for knee support when necessary.
What is low intensity exercise? ›
Activities done at a comfortable pace such as walking, swimming, biking, rowing, dance, resistance training, using an elliptical machine, other low-impact aerobics, or mind-body movement practices can be considered low-intensity exercise.Can you give at least 3 examples of muscle strengthening exercises? ›
hill walking. cycling. dance. push-ups, sit-ups and squats.What are the 3 lift categories? ›
There are core lifts, there are supplemental lifts, and there are ancillary lifts. A strength program needs to incorporate all three types of lifts to achieve balance and athleticism.What are the best low intensity workout classes? ›
- Indoor cycling. Indoor cycling on a stationary bike is one of the most high-energy and high-intensity low-impact workouts you can do. ...
- Rowing. ...
- Pilates. ...
- Yoga. ...
“By walking in place, you're raising your heart rate, which is going to signal to your body to start pumping more oxygen and blood to your muscles to help them move more efficiently, thus burning more calories.” You can walk in place almost anywhere.Is it better to walk faster or longer? ›
Brisk walkers had a 35 percent lower risk of dying, a 25 percent lower chance of developing heart disease or cancer and a 30 percent lower risk of developing dementia, compared with those whose average pace was slower.Is walking up stairs low impact? ›
#7: Climbing Stairs Is a Low-Impact Activity
A brisk walking pace while climbing stairs can increase your heart rate as much as jogging or running on flat ground, but walking places far less impact stress on your bones and joints.
- Jumping Rope.
- Jumping Jacks.
- Jogging in Place.
- Long-distance Running.
- Squat Jumps.
- Froggy Jumps.
- Side to Side Jumping Lunges.
- Walking or hiking.
- Jogging or running.
- In-line skating.
- Cross-country skiing.
- Exercising on a stair-climber or elliptical machine.
Pilates is a low-impact strengthening exercise that focuses heavily on the core and combines intentional movement with breath work. It's similar to yoga, with the ability to promote proper alignment and mindfulness. Research shows that pilates can help ease back pain, improve posture and promote better mental health.
What is a low impact cardio workout? ›
Low impact cardio is a form of exercise that raises your heart rate while minimizing impact on your joints. Some examples include walking, cycling, yoga, ellipticals, swimming, water aerobics and low impact exercises (like the 20 cardio exercise you'll find in this workout below).What is low impact exercise equipment? ›
“Low-impact” gear refers to equipment that has a low impact on your body, meaning it's gentle and won't put a lot of stress on your joints. That can be important if you have health issues, or if you're just getting started with exercising.Are burpees low impact? ›
While the burpee is known as a high-impact movement, the burpee simply is not for everyone. Slow things down, take out the jump, and modify the move while still effectively working on the muscular strength of a burpee.Is weight lifting considered low impact? ›
Most people tend to focus on cardio when they consider low-impact exercises, but plenty of weight lifting exercises are low impact, so you can still strengthen your muscles if you're nursing an injury.Are jump squats low impact? ›
Jump squats are a high-impact exercise that gets your heart rate up and recruits the fast-twitch muscle fibres in your legs to improve your muscle power and response time. However, sometimes you need a break from high-impact exercises such as this one.Can I lose weight with low impact exercise? ›
Low-impact exercise is still a very effective way to lose body fat. You just need to go a little longer in order to burn more calories. As you improve your fitness level, you'll be able to tolerate a faster pace for longer.What is the best cardio to burn belly fat? ›
Walking or Running
Walking or running at a moderate pace is a sure-shot way of burning calories and fat. It is not just the best cardio to burn belly fat but is also the most economical way to burn fat and maintain muscle.
The best types of cardio to aid in weight loss are either low-impact, low intensity cardio like rowing, incline walking, and biking, or HIIT workouts implemented in small doses such as kickboxing, interval training, and weight training.How to lose belly fat? ›
- Try curbing carbs instead of fats. ...
- Think eating plan, not diet. ...
- Keep moving. ...
- Lift weights. ...
- Become a label reader. ...
- Move away from processed foods. ...
- Focus on the way your clothes fit more than reading a scale. ...
- Hang out with health-focused friends.
HIIT. The most popular form of vigorous exercise at the moment is no question, HIIT or high intensity interval training. "High Intensity Interval Training is the best bang for your buck when it comes to a high calorie burn in short periods of time," Forrest said.
Are stairs low impact cardio? ›
When compared to other cardio exercises such as running, HIIT, or jump training, stair climbing is considered to be relatively low-impact. This means that it does not exert as much force on your ankles, knees, and hips, which can help them stay healthy over time.How long should I do low impact cardio? ›
LISS (low-intensity steady state) is a low-intensity cardio workout that calls for typically 30 to 60 minutes spent at the fat-burning sweet spot of roughly 60 percent of maximal heart-rate effort.What is considered low activity? ›
Unless you do at least 30 minutes per day of intentional exercise, you are considered sedentary. If you're Low Active, your daily activities include: Activities of daily living, such as shopping, cleaning, watering plants, taking out the trash, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, and gardening.Is walking a low impact activity? ›
Brisk walking is considered a moderate-intensity, low-impact workout that does not exert excess strain on joints (hip, knee, ankles) that are susceptible to injury with higher-impact workouts.What are the low physical activities? ›
|Level of intensity||Physical Activity|
|Low||Examples: light walking, stretching, lifting hand weights, push-ups against the walls||Examples: standing, washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking, playing piano|
What is low impact living? To put it simply, low impact living is all about reducing your impact on the environment and Earth's natural resources. It's a lifestyle that aims to lower your ecological footprint through daily actions and habits, from shopping local to eating less meat to avoiding single-use plastics.What are the five 5 activity type levels? ›
- Aerobic activity. If your heart beats faster and you breathe harder, it's an aerobic activity. ...
- Flexibility. Flexibility activities keep your muscles relaxed and joints mobile. ...
- Strength. Muscle-strengthening activities: ...
- Balance. ...
- If you're getting older. ...
- Mix the activities, double the benefit. ...
- Be active safely.
Minimal Intensity Physical Activity (Standing and Walking) of Longer Duration Improves Insulin Action and Plasma Lipids More than Shorter Periods of Moderate to Vigorous Exercise (Cycling) in Sedentary Subjects When Energy Expenditure Is Comparable.What are the 5 activity levels? ›
- Lightly Active.
- Moderately Active.
- Very Active.
Low-Impact: Yes. Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won't put any impact on your joints.
What is high low exercise examples? ›
High impact exercise involves running and jumping, activities that cause greater impact on joints and on your feet. Low impact involves stepping, walking, and other movements that don't get your feet pounding against the ground.What are the 3 main types of physical activity? ›
The three main types of physical activity are aerobic, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening. Balance and flexibility activities are also beneficial. Aerobic activity is the type that benefits your heart and lungs the most.What is very low impact strength training? ›
What is low-impact strength training? Low-impact strength training is a form of exercise that focuses on increasing strength and endurance while putting less stress on your joints and connective tissues. It typically involves lunges, squats, and resistance band exercises that maintain at least one foot on the ground.Who needs low impact exercises? ›
Low-impact exercises are great for individuals who are new to working out. Low-impact exercises are also great for athletes who are injured or recovering from injury. Low-impact exercises also provide a gentle workout on your easy days and can aid in recovery of your harder days.What is low impact intensity training? ›
Low intensity exercise is a lower impact form of exercise that puts less stress on your muscles and joints but still improves cardiovascular health, muscle strength and burns calories - just not as much as high intensity exercise. Examples of low intensity exercises include: Brisk walk. Yoga. Zumba.