This Trainer's Total-Body Low-Impact Workout Takes 35 Minutes and Is Equipment Free
We love a good home workout that includes jumping and high-impact moves, but sometimes we'd rather keep the intensity and nix the strain on our joints (sounds like a pretty good deal, right?). Annie Mulgrew, VP founding instructor at CityRow and NASM-certified personal trainer, told POPSUGAR that high-impact workouts might also be disruptive for people who live in apartments and don't want to disturb neighbors. That being said, "low impact doesn't mean that you're not getting a hell of a workout," she explained. "You don't have to jump around in order to burn calories."
Mulgrew created a workout just for POPSUGAR that is both high in intensity and low in impact — and we're so excited to share! It consists of three different circuits, requires zero equipment, and is a full-body session you can do right at home.
Annie Mulgrew's 35-Minute Low-Impact High-Intensity Workout
Directions: Warm up for at least four minutes to increase your heart rate, open up the hips and shoulders, and turn on your core. Mulgrew suggests doing one minute each of walkouts, spider lunges, Downward Dog into a plank with alternating shoulder taps, and a plank hold (you can break these moves up and perform two sets of 30 seconds of each if needed).
The workout itself is split into a lower-body circuit focused on intervals that target your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and thighs; an ab circuit for your deep abs, six-pack muscles, and obliques; and a total-body as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) circuit.
You should perform each exercise back-to-back, taking little to no rest in between each exercise. Take 30 to 60 seconds of rest between each round of the lower-body and ab circuits, and one minute of rest as you transition between circuits. The AMRAP circuit is designed for you to go all out for as many rounds as possible for six to eight minutes — rest as needed. You'll do a mixture of lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises — and the goal is to keep moving throughout. If you're feeling fatigued or are a beginner, aim to do the AMRAP finisher for six minutes. More advanced people should aim for eight minutes.
Lower-Body Circuit: Two Rounds
- Pendulum lunge: one minute on the right and left side
- Lateral lunge to curtsy lunge: 30 seconds on the right and left side
- Forearm side plank with abduction right side: 30 seconds on the right and left side
Ab Circuit: Two Rounds
- Walkout with alternating shoulder tap: one minute
- Walk the plank: one minute
- Downward Dog and push-up: one minute
- Plank hip dip: one minute
Total-Body AMRAP Finisher: Six to Eight Minutes
- Air squat: 10 reps
- Reverse lunge: 10 reps on the right and left side
- Hand release push-up: five reps
- Mountain climber: 20 reps
Lower-Body Circuit, Exercise 1: Pendulum Lunge
- Start standing with your feet together. Step your right foot forward into a front lunge. Make sure that both your front knee and back knee are at approximately 90-degree angles, and also make sure your front knee stays right over your ankle.
- Push through the right foot back to standing. Then, staying tall, step the right foot behind you into a reverse lunge, again, bending both knees to about 90 degrees.
- This counts as one rep. Perform these for one minute on each leg.
Lower-Body Circuit, Exercise 2: Lateral Lunge to Curtsy Lunge
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take your right foot and step it out wide to the right side, shifting your bodyweight over your right leg while simultaneously lowering into a squat. Keep your left leg out straight.
- Drive through the right foot to stand up, and step the right foot behind the left leg and toward the left as you lower down into a curtsy lunge.
- Keep your torso upright and return back to standing by pushing through the left foot.
- This counts as one rep. Perform for 30 seconds on each leg.
Lower-Body Circuit, Exercise 3: Forearm Side Plank With Abduction
- Begin by lying on your left side. Bring your left elbow directly under your left shoulder. Engage your core, press your left elbow into the floor, and rise up into side elbow plank. Do not drop your hips.
- Place your right hand behind your ear with your elbow out wide or put your right hand on your hip.
- Lift the right leg up just higher than your top hip (about two inches) and back down while keeping the hips lifted and your spine long. Do not rotate your body.
- Perform for 30 seconds on each side.
Ab Circuit, Exercise 1: Walkout With Alternating Shoulder Tap
- Start standing. Make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. Bend at your hips and reach down toward the floor with your legs as straight as they can be.
- Keep your feet planted on the mat as you walk your hands forward until your shoulders are directly over your wrists and you're in a high plank position.
- From the plank position, bring your right hand off the mat to touch your left shoulder without moving the rest of your body. With control, put your right hand back on the mat, tap your right shoulder with your left hand, and place your left hand back on the mat.
- Slowly begin to walk your hands back to your feet, and come up to a standing position.
- This counts as one rep. Perform for one minute.
Ab Circuit, Exercise 2: Walk the Plank
- Start in a high plank position with your feet wider than your hips and shoulders directly over your wrists.
- With control, place your right forearm on the mat, followed by the left forearm. Be sure to stay strong and controlled in the abs and legs.
- With control, lift your body up by placing the right palm on the mat, then your left palm on the mat to return to a high plank.
- This counts as one rep. Alternate the arm that leads and perform for one minute.
Ab Circuit, Exercise 3: Downward Dog and Push-Up
- Start on the ground in a high plank.
- Lift your hips up high and press back through your palms and shoulders to go into Downward Dog.
- With control, return to a high plank. Lower into a push-up with your elbows back and abs tight, making sure your shoulders are away from your ears. Return to high plank.
- This counts as one rep. Repeat for one minute.
Ab Circuit, Exercise 4: Plank Hip Dip
- Begin in a forearm plank. Make sure to keep your shoulders away from your ears and your back flat.
- Pull your belly button in toward your spine to keep your abs engaged as you drop your hips to the right side of the mat. With control, engage your core and return back to the center, then drop your hips to the left side, and return back to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Alternate for one minute.
Total-Body AMRAP, Exercise 1: Air Squat
- Stand straight with your feet hip-width distance apart and your toes slightly turned out.
- Reach your arms forward as you drive your hips back, lowering down into a squat like you're sitting on a chair (you can also place your hands wherever comfortable). Be sure to keep your weight back in your heels without lifting your toes off the floor.
- Push through your heels, extending your legs and hips, coming to a standing position.
- This counts as one rep. Do 10 reps.
Total-Body AMRAP, Exercise 2: Reverse Lunge
- Stand straight with your feet together and your hands at your hips or wherever comfortable. Take a large step backwards with your right foot and lower into a lunge.
- Both knees should be at 90 degrees with your right knee just above the ground.
- Push up off of your left foot, bringing your right foot back to meet your left, and returning to the starting position. This counts as one rep. Do 10 reps on each side.
Total-Body AMRAP, Exercise 3: Hand Release Push-Up
- Start in a high plank position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your fingertips pointing forward. Be sure to keep your neck and back in a neutral position — you don't want your spine to round or arch.
- Slowly lower down into a push-up, bending the elbows until you reach the floor. If you need to, drop down to your knees to modify this movement.
- Squeeze your upper back muscles to lift your hands off the mat (think about trying to hold a pencil in between your shoulders).
- Return your hands back on the ground and under your shoulders, then engage your core and drive through your palms as you extend your arms to return to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Complete five reps.
Total-Body AMRAP, Exercise 4: Mountain Climber
- Start in a plank position with your shoulders directly over your hands, your core tight, and your back flat.
- Pull the right knee in towards the inside of your right elbow, keeping your shoulders over your hands and arms fully extended. Return the leg and draw the left knee in towards the inside of your left elbow.
- Continue switching legs and work on picking up your pace to alternate your legs quickly. Do 20 reps.