There are endless options and methods to follow regarding working out. But sometimes, you need a low impact workout that will still give you results. Low impact strength training is perfect for those who have bad joints and want to avoid any high-impact movements or exercises that could potentially injure them.
Low impact strength training is excellent for those who want to avoid injury, but it’s also perfect for beginners. Low impact strength training is a great place to start if you’re starting your fitness journey or are getting back into working out after a long break.
What Is Low Impact Strength Training?
Often confused with functional strength training, low impact strength training is strength training that doesn’t include exercises that put excess stress on the joints. The reason people may choose to low-impact exercises is if they have joint problems due to age or injury.
Low impact strength exercises include the use of weight machines, resistance bands, dumbells, kettlebells, and bodyweight exercises as opposed to high impact exercises like barbell squatting for example.
Just because your workout may be ‘low impact’ doesn’t mean it has to be low intensity. You can definitely still have an intense, effective workout by sticking to low-impact exercises.
3 Key Benefits of Low Impact Strength Training
Low impact strength training is excellent for those who want to avoid injury and it’s also perfect for beginners. Low impact strength training is a great place to start if you’re starting your fitness journey or are getting back into working out after a long break. In addition to the general benefits of strength training, below are a few specific benefits to low impact strength training:
1. It’s Easy on the Joints
Joints are the points where two bones meet, and they are held together by ligaments. When we put stress on our joints through impactful activities like running or jumping, it can cause wear and tear over time.
This wear and tear can lead to joint pain and even arthritis. Low impact strength training, on the other hand, puts very little stress on the joints. This makes it an ideal form of exercise for those with joint pain or arthritis.
Additionally, low impact strength training is easy on the muscles and connective tissues around the joints, which can further reduce the risk of injury.
2. Perfect for all fitness levels
Low impact strength training is perfect for all fitness levels – whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. The great thing about bodyweight exercises is that you can always modify them to make them harder or easier, depending on your fitness level.
If you’re a beginner, start with lower-impact exercises and gradually add more challenging ones as you get stronger and build more stamina. And if you’re more experienced, you can increase the intensity of your workout by adding weights or increasing the number of reps and sets.
3. Improve your balance and coordination
Another great benefit of low impact strength training is that it can help improve your balance and coordination. This is because many exercises require you to use multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which forces your body to work together to stay stable.
What Equipment Do You Need For Low Impact Strength Training?
To perform some basic exercises, if you’ve only got a small amount of time, or you don’t have any strength training equipment, all you need is your body weight. However, ideally, you would be at a gym or have access to some home workout equipment that can be used for low impact strength training, such as kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands, and more.
Low Impact Strength Training Exercises
There are plenty of ways to get a great low impact workout in. You can use your body weight, resistance machines, resistance bands, or even dumbbells. And don’t worry, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym either. A quick 20-30 minute hard workout will be enough.
Here are some great low impact strength training exercises to try:
Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lower yourself until your chest grazes the ground, and then push back to the starting position.
The benefit of doing pushups is that they work your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core simultaneously. As a result, it’s a great exercise to add to any workout routine.
If regular pushups are too difficult, you can always modify them by doing them on your knees instead of your toes.
While heavy Barbell squats can be seen as high impact on the knees, there are squat variations that have a far lower impact on your joints such as goblet squats or even just bodyweight squats.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, pretend you’re sitting down sitting back, and lower yourself into a squatting position. Ensure your knees don’t go past your toes and that your back is straight. Then, push back up to the starting position.
The benefit of doing squats is that they work your legs, glutes, and core. As a result, it’s a great exercise to add to any workout routine.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a significant step forward with one leg. Next, lower your knee and push back to the starting position. Alternate legs with each rep.
The benefit of lunges is that they work your lower body muscles, including glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They also challenge your balance and coordination. Lunges are a great exercise to add to your workout routine if you want to tone your legs and butt.
One of the critical things to remember when making lunges is to keep your upper body upright and not to let your front knee go past your toes. It would help if you also aimed to keep your core engaged throughout the movement.
There are many different pull-up variations and all of them are great strength-building bodyweight exercises. If done properly, pull-ups should have a minimal impact on the elbow joints.
Start lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head, curl your upper body towards your knees, then lower back down to the starting position.
The benefit of doing sit-ups is that they tone your entire core, including your abs, hip flexors, and lower back. They’re also a great way to get rid of belly fat.
For best results, do three sets of 10-15 reps. If you can’t do that many, start with five and work your way up. Remember to keep your back straight and breathe as you exercise.
Doing sit-ups is one of the best ways to tone your stomach muscles and get rid of belly fat. If you’re looking for a challenging core workout, try adding some weighted sit-ups to your routine.
Start in a pushup position and lower yourself, resting on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your back straight, and abs engaged, and hold this position for as long as possible.
The benefit of the plank is that it works your entire core, including your abs, obliques, and lower back. It’s also a great way to improve your posture.
For best results, hold the plank for 30-60 seconds. If you can’t hold it for that long, start with 10 seconds and work your way up. Remember to breathe as you exercise.
The plank is an excellent exercise for toning your stomach muscles and improving your posture. If you’re looking for a challenge, try adding some plank variations to your routine.
How Often Should You Perform Low Impact Strength Training?
Most people believe that in order to get stronger, you have to lift heavy weights. However, this isn’t always the case. Low impact strength training is a great way to build muscle without all the strain that comes with lifting heavy weights. So, how often should you perform low impact strength training?
The frequency of your low impact strength training will depend on your goals. If you’re looking to maintain your current muscle mass, then you can train 2-3 times per week. If you’re looking to build muscle, then you’ll need to train 3-4 times per week. And if you’re looking to gain strength, then you’ll need to train 4-5 times per week.
Of course, the intensity of your training will also play a role in how often you train. If you’re doing high-intensity workouts, then you’ll need more recovery time in between workouts. For this reason, it’s important to listen to your body and give yourself enough time to recover.
Related: Best recovery equipment Massage Guns, Vibration Plates, Foam Rollers
In general, low impact strength training is a great way to build muscle without putting too much strain on your body. By training 2-5 times per week, you can achieve your goals without overdoing it. Just be sure to listen to your body
Low impact strength training is a great way to start your fitness journey or avoid high-impact movements that could injure you or make an already existing problem worse. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!
Editor-In-Chief at Recovatech. Dr. Ben has been a Doctor of Chiropractic for over 10 years, specializing in structural and neurological imbalances with an emphasis in functional movement patterns, exercise performance, and muscle recovery. He has been the team chiropractor for professional baseball and soccer organizations, as well as collegiate athletes. In his personal life, he’s always been driven when it comes to athletics and personal performance. His mornings start by lifting something heavy and end spending time with family.