Two things we love: low-impact workouts and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and yes, before you ask, you can get both at once. For proof, look no further than this 30-minute HIIT workout, which was designed by ACE-certified personal trainer Jennifer Nagel, CEO of Figured Out Fitness, to burn calories and work your whole body.
"Low impact does not mean low intensity," Nagel told POPSUGAR. To get the most intensity (and effectiveness) out of each exercise, she explained, make your movements bigger and "add a little punch" to each one. "Bring as much energy as you would for any other HIIT workout," and you'll burn more calories and get the most out of the workout. HIIT workouts are an especially good choice for incinerating calories, she added, because they can trigger the EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption) effect, which occurs when your body continues expending a modest amount of calories after an intense workout. Burning calories through exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help you get into the moderate calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume) that's necessary for weight loss, if that's your goal.
So if you're here to give your joints a break, keep your workout on the quiet side (your neighbors will love you), or just work your body in an efficient and effective way, lace up your shoes and keep reading for a 30-minute low-impact routine you'll love.
Directions: Start with three minutes of light cardio, such as marching in place or step swings (shown ahead) and these dynamic warmup exercises. Then, start the HIIT circuit. Perform the first exercise for 30 seconds, completing as many reps as you can with proper form. Rest for 30 seconds by marching in place (this is your active recovery period). Repeat for all five exercises, then rest for one minute. Repeat the circuit for five rounds.
After the fifth round, cool down for one minute by walking in place, then complete this stretch session, holding each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
For more of a challenge, Nagel said you can do each exercise in the circuit for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of active recovery.