Everyone’s body is different, and everyone has a different level of fitness intensity with which they’re comfortable. Whether you’re a daily fitness junkie or just getting started with a new workout routine, there will be days when your body (especially your joints) feels too sore to exercise. For some, taking a day or two off is hard to justify. Thankfully, we have low impact workouts to turn to when you’re motivated to work out but your muscles and joints feel too sore to withstand high-intensity, high-impact moves. Below, the XPROs of various Xponential GO apps share their thoughts on low impact workouts.
Caley Crawford, XPRO for Row House GO, recommends low impact workouts for anyone looking to place very little to no stress on their joints. There are many different ways to try this, but there’s one simple requirement. “No matter the exercise choice, at least one foot will remain in contact with the ground, keeping the impact to the joints very low,” Crawford says. Beyond that, everything’s fair game, and chief among the benefits is minimal pressure on your knees.
Types of Low Impact Workouts
Popular types of low impact workouts range from walking to gentle yoga, and machines such as the elliptical can provide a fluid and safe low impact workout. For those that want to be a little more adventurous, Mindy Sartori, XPRO for CycleBar GO, suggests cycling, rowing and swimming. “Cycling is a great way to incorporate a great workout with virtually no impact on your joints,” says Sartori. Both cycling and rowing can be explored with apps like CycleBar GO and Row House GO.
Fortunately, you’re not limited to just cardio. Weightlifters are in luck as well, and it’s important for everyone, not just bodybuilders, to practice exercises that strengthen muscles around your knees. “Single-leg step downs, box squats, hamstring curls, banded walks, and a great deal of yoga, barre and Pilates moves are all leg-specific bodyweight exercises that build strength in your knees while maintaining low-impact,” shares Annie Copinga, XPRO for YogaSix GO. Check out YogaSix GO, Pure Barre GO and Club Pilates GO for some great examples of low impact strength work.
Who Are They For?
Low impact workouts are truly for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Olympic powerlifter or working out for the very first time. Low impact workouts are thoughtful and controlled, with all the attention being paid to proper muscle engagement that everyone can benefit from. “For people new to fitness, starting slow with low impact exercises creates a strong and effective foundation to build off of,” says Copinga. “Low impact exercises are extremely beneficial to elite athletes to keep moving on rest days as well.”
Although the frequency of how often you should do low impact workouts varies based on your goals and where you’re at with your fitness journey, the chance of overtraining with low impact exercises is slim, so there isn’t much harm in incorporating them every day. “As always, listen to your body and allow rest days if you are recovering from an injury or just starting out on a new fitness journey,” says Sartori. Finally, Crawford strongly encourages anyone new to low impact workouts to seek the assistance of a professional to assure proper form.