Bookmark This Low-Impact Cardio Workout For When Your Joints Need a Break
Good news for your joints: a virtual HIIT class nearly isn’t the only way to get in a cardio workout at home.
Whether your knees and ankles need a break from the consistent jumping or you want to spare your downstairs neighbor from yet another set of burpees, this simple (but supereffective!) low-impact cardio workout is the solution.
“A low-impact cardio workout may not burn as many calories as a high-impact workout in the same allotted time, however, it may save your joints in the future so you can continue to work out,” Melissa Chisholm, an NASM-certified personal trainer, explained.
“As with anything, consistency is key, and adding more low-impact workouts to your routine will allow you to stay consistent.”
Cycle through this workout curated by Chisholm ahead; your body will feel the physical challenge in the best possible way.
Five Walk-Out to Hip-Openers
- Stand tall, inhale to bring your arms overhead, and exhale to fold over.
- Walk out to a high plank and bring your right foot to the outside of your right hand.
- Rotate your torso, and bring your right hand up toward the ceiling. Hold for three breaths. Place your hand down, and return your foot back to a plank.
- Repeat on the left side.
- Step your foot back to plank, and push back into a Downward Dog. Pedal out your feet.
- Walk your hands back to your feet. Slowly roll up to standing and inhale your arms overhead.
- This completes one rep. Repeat five times.
Complete all six exercises in order. Repeat for three rounds.
Chisholm suggested setting a timer while completing round one: try to meet or beat your time during the second and third rounds, all while maintaining good form.
Walk-Out to Push-Ups:
- Start standing folded over and walk your hands out to a tall plank.
- Bend your elbows to lower down and push back up to a tall plank position.
- Walk your hands back to your feet and roll up to stand.
- That completes one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.
Squat to Calf Raise:
- Stand with your feet about hips-width apart.
- Lower your hips back as though you are sitting into a chair.
- Come up to standing, lift onto your toes, and then lower your heels down.
- That is one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.
- Start in an extended arm plank with your feet wide to create a solid foundation.
- Lower onto your right elbow/forearm, lower onto your left elbow/forearm, and then press back up to a tall plank, replacing your right elbow with your right hand, and your left elbow with your left hand.
- That is one rep. Repeat for 10 reps total, with five leading with your right side and five leading with your left.
Lateral Lunge to Balance:
- Starting from a standing position, T your arms out or lift them out to the side.
- Step your right leg out wide so that it is as wide as your right hand, but not as wide if you are very tight.
- Sit back on your right side for a single-sided squat; your left foot remains planted on the ground and your left leg remains straight.
- Push up out of your right foot to come back to balance on your left leg while lifting your right knee to hip height.
- Balance for one breath and step back out to the right for 10 reps.
- Repeat on the left side.
Extended Arm Plank to Bear Plank:
- Start in an extended arm plank with your legs long.
- Step your right foot in so that your knee is under your right hip, and then do the same on your left side.
- Hover your knees about one-to-two inches off the ground.
- Step back to plank leading with your right leg, and following with your left.
- Repeat this for 20 reps total, 10 leading with your right leg and 10 leading with your left leg.
Alternating Reverse Lunge to Arms Overhead:
- Start standing with both arms straight up overhead so your biceps are by your ears and your fingertips are pointed up to the ceiling.
- Step back with your right leg. Lower your right knee to hover about an inch off the ground.
- As you step back into your lunge, swing your arms back behind you.
- Step up to stand and swing your arms up to the starting position.
- Alternate your legs for 20 reps total, 10 on each leg.