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Low impact workout tips

Low impact exercises are much more gentle on your joints, tendons and ligaments than higher impact alternatives, making it an ideal option for beginners, those with joint conditions, injuries or if you just want to give your body a break from high impact training.

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What is a low impact workout

Typically people think of swimming, cycling or walking as the only options to keep workouts low impact, but they are not the only things you can do to keep your routines easy on your joints. By understanding what you can do to keep exercises low impact, the possibilities are endless and you can keep your workouts interesting.

Low impact exercises simply keep at least one foot on the floor at all times. So no jumping, hopping or running. They may be easier on your body, but do not be fooled… low impact does not have to mean low intensity… they can be just as challenging as high impact exercise.

So whilst taking a power walk, going for a bike ride or swim will help improve your cardio-vascular fitness, these will not address the important need to do strength training, and this too can easily be achieved with emphasis on low impact.

Benefits of low impact strength training

  • Kinder to your joints, ligaments and tendons
  • Less chance of injury and therefore easier to keep up a regular routine
  • Improves cardio vascular fitness. By performing these exercises with high intensity, you will definitely raise your heart rate and work up a sweat. Increasing your muscular and cardiovascular endurance
  • Strengthens bones and improves bone density – decreasing the risk of Osteoporosis

It will not be just your physical health that is improved – there are also benefits for your mental well-being

  • Relieves stress – By the production of endorphins in to your brain, giving you that post exercise high that boosts your mood
  • Improved overall well-being – As you become stronger and fitter, your confidence and feeling of self-worth will improve, making it easier for you to tackle anything you may be struggling with
  • Improves concentration and memory – yes, your brain gets a workout too….by boosting the brains dopamine and serotonin levels, all of which affect focus and concentration
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Try our gym team’s low impact workout

Here are a few examples of low impact exercises to get you started. If you complete each exercise for 45seconds, with a 15 second rest. Then one circuit will take you 5 Minutes. Repeat the circuit as many times as you can to increase the workout length.

1. Low Impact Jacks

  1. Start with feet together and arms by your side
  2. Step your right foot out to the side as you swing your right arm up and overhead, reaching as high as you can
  3. Step your right foot back in and then step to the other side with your left foot, swinging your left arm overhead
  4. Continue alternating sides, moving as quickly as you can without jumping
  5. To make this harder you can deepen your lunge to the side, do the movement faster and add more arm movement

2. Squat and Kick

  1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, hands behind your head with elbows out to the side
  2. Bend your knees and sit back as far as you can (as if there is a chair behind you)
  3. Push back to your start position and kick your right leg in front of you
  4. Repeat, kicking with your left leg
  5. Alternate with right and left leg kicks
  6. To make this harder, twist the upper body as you kick in front of you, bringing you elbow to the opposite knee

3. Walk down push ups

  1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, perform a toe touch allowing the knees to bend so you ca reach the floor with your hands flat
  2. Walk your hands forward until you are in a stable plank position, keeping your back straight
  3. Then hinge at the hips and walk your hands back along the floor towards your feet and return to standing position
  4. Repeat these steps as many times as you can within the time limit
  5. To make this harder, perform a press up once you are in the stable plank position before returning back to standing

4. Lunges

  1. Stand tall with feet hip distance apart
  2. Take a big step forward with your right leg
  3. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and right shin is vertical
  4. Press into your right heel to drive back to the start position
  5. Repeat on the other side and keep alternating

5. Planks with shoulder taps

  1. Start in the stable high plank position
  2. Lift one hand off the floor and tap the opposite shoulder
  3. Place the hand back down and do the same on the other side
  4. Keep alternating taps whilst maintaining your hips square. Try not to twist to the side as you lift your arms

So in conclusion… not let injury or joint conditions stop you from getting all the benefits of exercise. Simply ensure that all the exercises you put together in your workout are done with at least one foot on the floor at all times.

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