The 5 Best Low-Impact Exercises

The 5 Best Low-Impact Exercises

Working out can be a pain—literally. The process can generate all kinds of shin splints, bad hips and knees, and any other kind of problem you could imagine.  

Fortunately, there is a fitness solution for those who are suffering from joint pain: low-impact exercise.

A low-impact exercise is exactly what it sounds like—an exercise in which the body’s weight never fully leaves the ground (or the water, or the machine). Experts recommend low-impact exercises for anyone at risk for injuries caused by high-impact exercises like jogging, stair climbing or jump-roping. High-impact fitness routines are not ideal for those who are overweight, new to the gym, pregnant, injured or afflicted by a chronic physical ailment).

So, while high impact exercise have a few benefits of its own, low-impact workouts might just be best for everyone—if only as a preventative measure. After all, the less pressure you put on your body, the less likely your body is to break down.

Take a look at these five terrific low-impact exercises, and see if they might work for you:

1. Swimming

Swimming serves as a kind of aerobic and anaerobic exercise all at once and works more different muscle groups in a single workout than almost any other single kind of exercise.

Furthermore, swimming is seriously low-impact. Swimming is so low- impact, that physical therapists use it to rehabilitate severely injured people.

2. Cycling

Cycling — like swimming —provides both cardiovascular fitness and muscle development. Unlike with running, the motion requires little to no impact and engages the full length of the legs, as well as the core, for balance. 

3. Rowing

Rowing is an oft forgotten low-impact exercise that is excellent for a number of reasons. Apart from the fact that it puts little to no pressure on your back, knees, or other joints, rowing is powerful and important because it engages the entirety of your body. Rowing works out your legs, glutes, back, and arms. Just make sure that your form is accurate in order to maximize your results!

4. Inline Skating:

Inline Skating is another low impact exercise that has a tendency to slip through the cracks. According to The Inline Skating Resource Center, a 160-pound skater, skating at the pace of 10 miles per hour, burns ten calories per minute. For those of you without a calculator, that’s 600 calories per hour.

5. Elliptical

The elliptical machine is a helpful tool for people in need of low-impact exercise. It works your legs, engages your arms and can quickly improve cardiovascular strength. Furthermore, the machine provides a low-impact activity that keeps you on your feet, and, to a certain extent, simulates running. As such, it could be an easier exercise for a runner in transition than, say, cycling or swimming.