Use These 7 Moves to Create a Low-Impact Workout at Home
Unlike high-impact exercises (think burpees and jumping squats), low-impact workouts raise your heart rate and work your muscles without pounding away at your joints. If you tend to follow a rigorous training schedule, a low-impact workout once or twice a week may help you prevent injury while maintaining your conditioning. And if you do find yourself nursing an injury, a low-impact workout can be a great alternative to your typical exercise routine.
Another reason to do low-impact workouts at home? You won’t disturb your downstairs neighbors. Low-impact exercises don’t require you to jump (and, therefore, land) so you won’t thump, clomp, or rattle the light fixtures. For that reason, most low-impact workouts are also hotel room-friendly.
Here’s how to start your own low-impact workout at home:
Use the following exercises to create your workout.
Set a timer and do each low-impact movement as a circuit (e.g., 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest).
Or do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps of each movement.
1. Modified Pilates Push-Up
- Start on all fours with your palms and knees on the floor. Your elbows and shoulders should be stacked directly over your wrists.
- Position your knees so that there’s a straight line from your head to your knees; don’t allow your hips to pike up or sag toward the floor. Bend your knees, point your toes, and lift your heels toward your butt.
- Keeping your elbows tucked in toward your body, bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor.
- Push through your palms to straighten your elbows and lift your chest away from the floor.
2. Seated Triceps Dip
- Sit on the floor with your legs together. Bend your knees, place your hands on the floor behind your butt, and press the soles of your feet into the floor.
- Slide your feet toward your butt and lift your hips off the floor.
- Keeping your elbows tucked in toward your body, bend them to lower your hips until your butt is a couple of inches from the floor. Use your triceps to quickly straighten your elbows and lift your hips.
- Continue to use your triceps to lower and lift your hips in a quick, pulsing motion until all reps are complete.
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width, and your toes pointed outward. Extend your arms to the sides in second position.
- Keeping your chest up and spine neutral, bend your knees, and lower your hips. Make sure your knees are stacked over your ankle and in line with your second and third toes.
- Engage your core and your glutes as you straighten your knees.
4. Plié into Curtsy Squat
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width and your toes pointed outward. Lift your arms in front of you in first position, as if you were holding a large beach ball against your chest.
- Keeping your chest up and spine neutral, bend your knees into a plié.
- Straighten your legs, then immediately cross your right foot behind your left leg and bend your knees in a curtsy-like movement.
- As you straighten your legs, bring your right foot to the starting position. Perform an equal amount of reps on both sides.
5. Lateral Leg Pulses
- Holding onto a counter or the back of a chair, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. For added resistance, slip a small exercise band around your calves just above your ankles.
- Soften your knees slightly and extend your left leg to the side, lifting your left foot off of the floor.
- From this elevated position, use a pulsing movement to quickly lift the leg a little higher two times. This is one rep.
- Complete all reps on one leg before switching sides.
6. Glute Bridge
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, bend your knees, and place the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels should be a few inches away from your fingertips. For added resistance, loop a small exercise band around your thighs.
- Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips so that they’re in line with your knees.
- Slowly lower your hips to the floor.
7. Double Leg Stretch
- Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Engage your abs to lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat while pressing your lower back into the floor. Wrap your hands lightly around the outside of your thighs, just above the knees.
- Inhale, and reach both of your arms overhead at the same time you extend both legs out straight, just a few inches above the floor. Keep your lower back pressing into the floor. If it comes up, don’t lower your legs as far down.
- Exhale, and sweep your arms back around as your knees return to your chest.
- Repeat until all reps are complete.
Mix In Some Yoga!
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