Man performing low impact crawling for weight loss

What are the best low impact exercises? Try these 17 bodyweight low impact moves that you can instantly try at home.

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What Are The Best Low Impact Exercises?

Best low impact bodyweight exercises are the ones which will stimulate your muscles, improve energy systems while sparing the joints. A good low impact exercise examples are: walking, swiming, biking, yoga, crawling (all variations) and other bodyweight exercises. 

A rule of thumb to be considered here is that the low impact bodyweight exercises should not consist any form of plyometrics, jumping or to be with high intensity demand on your joints.

17 Low Impact Bodyweight Exercises You Can Try At Home

1. Crab Crawl

2. Leopard Crawl

3. Low Forward to Reverse Lunge

4. Low Lunge Rotations

5. Shoulder Taps

6. Side Crab Crawl

7. Bear to Crab Switch

8. Circle Bear Crawl

9. Crab Crawl to Tripod Extension

10. Sit Outs

11. Slow Mountain Climber

12. Sliding Mountain Climbers

13. Squat Pulses

14. The Body Saw

15. Beginner Hollow Body Hold (2 Variations)

16. The Playing Bear

17. Hollow Body Hold

Are Low Impact Workouts Effective?

low impact workouts are an effective choice for everyone who wants to get in better shape while sparing their joints. Low impact workouts can be focused on building muscle with bodyweight exercises or to lose body weight where a low impact HIIT cardio routines can be used. 

In most cases, the low impact workouts will be performed in the form of cardio such as walking, hiking, biking and swiming. While these activities will help your body burn more calories and lose weight, it would be necessary some sort of resistance training to be included in your fitness regimen in order to shape your body and get better results.

How To Use These Exercises To Create a Good Low Impact Workout?

To get a good low impact workout, follow these 3 simple workout frames to create effective routines with the movements presented in this article: 

1. Pick 5-6 exercises (from the list above) and perform each for 6-8 total sets. Beginners to follow 20/20 seconds of work/rest periods and the intermediate trainees to begin with 30/15 seconds work/rest. This is the easiest workout model and the one that I highly recommend. Rest between switching the movements: 90-120 seconds. 

2. Mini circuits - pick 2-3 exercises and go back to back by performing each for 1 set. Once you finish, this will be considered as one round done. Do 5 total rounds. Again, beginners work on 20/20 and intermediates on 30/15 seconds work/rest protocol. Rest between rounds: 90-120 seconds. If at any case this session is too short for you, just pick another 2-3 moves and complete another mini circuit. 

What Is Low Impact HIIT? 

A low impact high intensity interval training workout can state for a session where you perform low impact exercises in time frames with minimal rests between. This way, the applied tension on the muscles will be high and will lead to great simulus and response of your body without the additional joint stress. 

The low impact HIIT workouts are something that I highly encourage every beginner and not so beginner in the training to try and follow. This is a safe and smart workout approach that will allow you to progress without the risks of injuries. 

Can You Lose Weight With Low Impact Exercises?

You can lose weight with low impact exercises if your focus is on the time under tension applied on muscles and if your diet + recovery are both on place. In other words, low impact workouts are fantastic for getting yourself in shape but only that alone might not be enough to meet quick and sustainable results. 

Make sure to eat mostly real foods (no processed, packaged or fried). Focus on meats, nuts, seeds, eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, oats, veggies, fruits and spices. Also, sleep at least 7-8 hours per night in order to recover faster from workouts.  

How Often To Do Low Impact Workouts?

At least 3-4 times weekly in order to create frequent stimulus on the muscles, burn extra calories and help you get in shape quicker. If you'll stick within this number, make sure to include mainly full body workouts. 

In the suggestion above, I am mainly refering to the bodyweight workouts. However, we might look into 2 scenarios that can be used: 

1. Bodyweight sessions only (the example above) - this would be 3-4 routines weekly where you have to focus mainly on full body workouts. 

2. Bodyweight workouts + cardio low impact routines - here you can split the bodyweight work with cardio routines such as walking, hiking, biking, swiming or yoga. If you like this option, then include 2-3 bodyweight workouts + 2 cardio sessions. 

No matter what your choice will be, it is most important for you to be consistent and stick with something for more than 8 weeks in order to test it fully and be able to conclude if it's working for you, or not. 

What Are Examples Of Low Impact Aerobics?

  • Walking
  • Hiking 
  • Swimming and water aerobics
  • Riding a bicycle 
  • Jumping rope (this might sounds weird but ones you get more proficient with the rope, it becomes a low-impact exercise). 
  • Jogging - if you are not running on pavement or concrete. Instead, seek for stadiums with running tracks where the surface will help your legs to bounce and this way to avoid the landing stress on the joints. Another option is to run on dirt or natural surface in the parks/woods. 

Try This 10 Minute Low Impact Workout Too!

Summary

The low impact workouts and exercises are a great way to help your body get in shape without the additional stress on the joints. There are multiple bodyweight low impact exercises which can be used anywhere. 

Besides such movements, the classic low impact exercises are: walking, hiking, swiming, water sports, biking, yoga and jumping rope. 

You can lose weight with low impact training but to accelerate the process, eating mostly real foods and sleeping well is from an upmost importance. 

If following such joint friendly workouts is something that you like trying, make sure to follow at least 3-4 full body, bodyweight workouts weekly. Or if you want to combine both resistance and cardio, proceed with 2-3 full body sessions and 2 more cardio focused such as walking, hiking, biking, swiming or taking yoga classes. 

Weight loss advice: try to combine a few bodyweight exercises into timing intervals with minimal rest between. This way, your session will become a low impact HIIT workout which is great because even the fact that you perform joint friendly movements, which are not that intense in nature, while minimizing rest periods between each move, you will transform your session into a higher intensity one. 

Let me know what you think in the comments below and what else you would like to learn about the low impact workouts. 

Coach Vlad

PS: here are another 17 low impact exercises.

Interval Training For Men

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