5 Low-Impact Workouts That’ll Let You Cross-Train Like a Pro

A common misconception about workouts is that in order to be high-intensity, they mustbe hard on your joints. In reality, a workout doesn’t have to be high impact in order to rev your heart rate and challenge your muscles—the five low-impact workouts below prove it. Each one provides just as much endorphin-triggering and cardio-conditioning potential as their higher-intensity counterparts, with less of chance of causing injury in the process.

And while popular examples of low-intensity workouts include Pilates, Lagree, and barre, as well as walking and swimming, low-impact, high-intensity interval training and boxing options also exist. Which is ultimately to say, you have options. So, if you’re looking for ways to incorporate more movement into your life that’s easier on your joints, ahead you’ll find five low-impact workouts to fit your fancy.

For the HIIT Lover: 15-Minute Rebounder Workout

Jumping on a mini trampoline, as opposed to the ground, takes the impact out of plyo moves that would normally be intense on your ankle, knee, and hip joints. With that in mind, this 15-minute rebounder workout takes viewers through a high-bounce warm-up before leading into high-knee runs, in-and-out jacks, knee tucks, side pushes, and squat variations. The kicker? The entire workout is a minute on and a minute off—but the off-minute is really just a lower-intensity high bounce break for active recovery. In other words, prepare for your heart rate to shoot up.

For the Sculpting Devotee: 17-Minute Barre Burn

The number-one thing Barre3 owner Alicia Sokol wants you to take away from his workout? Just because it’s low-impact doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. The 17-minute mat routine includes a series of fluid movements, including squats with shoulder rolls and arm circles, squat pulses with arm lifts, and crescent lunges with knee pulses, before moving down to the floor for a sequence of core-specific exercises. Best of all? Sokol says it’s a great workout for those who are expecting, given it doesn’t include any deep twisting or lying on your back.

For the Hopeful Runner: 12-3-30 Workout

Go to any Orangetheory or Barry’s Bootcamp class, and you’ll likely learn that running at low speeds on high-incline is one of the best ways to increase your endurance and make you a better runner. That’s the logic behind the 12-3-30 workout—that and the fact that running at a 12 incline and speed of three for 30 minutes is a surefire way to get your heart rate up.

For the One Looking to Blow Off Some Steam: 15-Minute Boxing Workout

Yup, punching can be low-impact and highly stress-relieving. This 20-minute shadowboxing workout, led by BoxUnion instructor Beth Gold, features knee hugs, sumo squats, heel lifts, quad stretches, back lunges, and more—all with jabs and hooks thrown in for good measure.


For the One Looking for Bodyweight Strengthening: 30-Minute Full-Body Pilates Workout

Last but not least is this Pilates workout from East River Pilates instructor Floss Brolsma who walks viewers through a 27-move sequence in only a half hour. With movements like squats, lunges, planks, and bridges, you can expect to get a full-body workout that you’ll definitely feel it the next day.