Low Impact Cardio

This workout delivers cardio and strength without pounding your joints
  • 12 Mar - 18 Mar, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly

Every once in a while, you should give your body a break from pounding the pavement, whether you’re running, dancing, or playing sports. But before you take this as a sign to sink even deeper into the sofa, try a low impact workout. Low impact exercise is easier on your body – your joints will thank you. It can also be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout without worrying too much about injuries.

Trainers define low impact as any exercise where one foot stays on the ground at all times. But you don’t have to resign yourself to doing single-leg deadlifts until you keel over. We’ve rounded up a few low impact exercises worth trying.

Lateral lunge to reach

Strengthens: glutes, abductors, adductors, and hamstrings

Stand with feet together and hands by sides. Keeping chest lifted, take a big step to the side with left leg, sending butt back, keeping right leg straight, and bending left knee to form a 90-degree angle (feet should be facing forward). Reach right arm to touch left foot and raise left arm straight overhead. Push off left foot to return to starting position. Repeat for 22 seconds, then switch sides.

Sumo squat touch-down to heel raise

Strengthens: glutes, abductors, adductors, hamstrings, and calves

Start standing with feet a little wider than shoulder – distance apart and toes turned out slightly. Straighten arms in front of your hips. Keeping chest lifted, core braced, and back straight, bend both knees, send butt back and down, and touch hands to the floor. Press feet into the ground to stand back up, lifting heels off the ground and arms overhead with legs straight. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Plank walk-out to push-up

Strengthens: shoulders, arms, core, back, and chest

Start standing with feet hip-distance apart and hands by the sides. Fold torso forward to bring hands to the ground, slightly bending the knees, then walk hands forward into a high plank, stacking shoulders over wrists. Keeping shoulders back and down and tucking pelvis to brace core, lower chest toward the ground to do a push-up, bending elbows at 45 degrees. Press hands into the ground to push back up into a high plank. Walk hands back toward feet and roll up to standing. Repeat for 45 seconds.


Strengthens: hamstrings, quads, and glutes

Stand in a staggered stance with right foot forward with a slight bend in the knee and left foot back on a slight diagonal from your right foot on the ground. Lean torso slightly to the right, hinging forward with a straight spine and braced core to align over the right leg. Raise arms overhead. Simultaneously drive left knee up and bring hands down to touch (parallel to waist), squeezing abs. Bring left foot back down to the ground behind you, straightening leg, and raising arms overhead. Repeat for about 22 seconds, then switch sides.

Front kick to touch back

Strengthens: hamstrings and glutes

Start standing with feet hip-width apart and hold fists by cheekbones in a guard position. Kick right leg forward straight out in front of you. Place right foot back down and step left foot back in a low lunge while left hand touches the ground in front of you and right hand rest on back. Repeat for about 22 seconds, then switch sides.

Russian twist with punch

Strengthens: abs, obliques, arms, and shoulders

Sit on the ground with knees bent and feet flat. Lean torso back about 45 degrees or until you feel abs engaged, then lift feet off the ground. Without moving legs, rotate torso to the right, then punch left arm to the right. Return to centre and rotate torso to the left, then punch right arm to the left. Continue alternating for 45 seconds.


Strengthens: hamstrings, calves, quads, shoulders, and lats

Stand with feet together and come up to balls of feet with heels off the ground and arms overhead. Squeeze fists to create tension in the arms and shoulders. Push hips back, bending knees and hinging torso forward until it's almost parallel to the ground, keeping spine straight and bringing heels to the ground. At the same time, swing arms down and behind you. Then, thrust hips forward and swing arms overhead, coming back to your toes. Repeat for 45 seconds.