Can a low-impact workout help you reach your goals

Low-impact exercise may not get as much hype as explosive, leave-it-all-on-the-mat workouts.

A low-impact workout can still be a great way to lose fat, increase strength and endurance.

Here are the facts.

What is a low-impact workout?

Amanda Lopez, C.P.T. says that a low-impact workout is any exercise in which at least one foot is on ground at all times. Beachbody’s technical fitness advisor.

This has a lower impact on your joints that higher-impact activities like a long run, a plyo or a plyo work out.


You are just starting out in fitness and don’t know how to do burpee bolts.

No-Impact vs. Low-Impact vs. High-Impact Exercise

Woman finished with indoor bike workout

What is the difference between high-impact, no-impact and low-impact workouts?

You won’t have to do any jumping or jolting, but low-impact exercises will still be effective.

“Low-impact doesn’t mean low-intensity,” says Garett Reid, MSc, C.S.C.S., C.I.S.S.N., head fitness consultant at Set for Set.

Do you need proof?

Reid says that you can see the sweat on the ground after an intense indoor cycling session.

Lopez says that high-impact workouts often involve a lot more jumping than the ground.

This puts strain on your joints, as the name implies.

High-impact exercise can get your heart rate up, build strength and offer some benefits for your bone health.

Your fitness plan could include both low-impact and high-intensity workouts, unless you are in pain or have been advised by your doctor to avoid them.

No-impact workouts are often referred to swimming or other water exercises.

What to Expect from a Low-Impact Workout

Elise Joan leading Barre Blend workout

You’ll find many workout options under the “low impact” umbrella.

Lopez explains that this includes “walking and cycling, functional strength training (dancing, swimming, hiking, yoga, Pilates, etc.), Lopez adds.

PiYo is an excellent example of a low impact home workout that pushes your limits but doesn’t put extra strain on your joints.

This 60-day program combines muscle-sculpting Pilates and yoga-inspired moves to increase strength and flexibility.

Barre Blend also includes low-impact movements such as calf raises or plies. You’ll feel the burn in your muscles that you didn’t know you had.

Clean Week is a great way to get started on a healthier lifestyle.

This 7-day program includes meal planning and beginner-friendly exercises. It is designed to build a foundation for cardio, strength, flexibility, and core function.

Four Benefits of low-impact workouts

Underwater shot of woman swimming laps

These are some great reasons to include low-impact exercises in your routine, no matter your stage in your fitness journey.

1. Easier on your joints

Lopez said that low-impact training can be beneficial for building muscle without putting too much strain on your joints.

Bonus: This can help you make your workouts more sustainable.

You can really mess up your momentum if you continue to skip workouts or become too stiff to move.

“So often, we see people push themselves too hard, too fast and end up injuring ourselves, re-injuring ourselves, burning out, or becoming too sore. This is why Fit Healthy Momma was founded by Tami Smith, CPT.

2. Beginner-friendly

You don’t want to be discouraged if you are just starting out with a fitness program.

You can work out at your own pace, and you can focus on correct form.

Lopez says, “It helps build stability and the body because it is taking time with your movements.”

Low-impact workouts are a great way to start building strength and endurance.

Smith states that low-impact exercises are a great way to get started. They allow people to observe how their bodies react and feel, which can help them make progress.

3. Fat-burning techniques that work

Although low-impact cardio won’t burn as many calories as HIIT, it will still increase your heart rate.

Lopez states that low-impact exercises can help you lose more body fat. Working at a moderate to light exertion level can actually help you improve your aerobic fitness and endurance. These are the main components of the fat-burning zone.

4. Less downtime

Low-impact workouts are more beneficial for your body because they cause less damage and allow you to work out longer.

Lopez states that you can do a low-impact exercise almost every day.

For advanced fitness levels, low-impact exercises may be a good option for active recovery days.

Lopez says, “If you need a break from high-impact cardio, go for a walk, or take a class in yoga or Pilates, which are all low impact workouts.”

Are you looking for low-impact workouts that can help you reach your goals? The Beachbody Blog.

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