If HIIT Is Hard on Your Joints, Low-Impact Intensity Workouts Might Be For You

If you're uneasy about the pressure HIIT puts on your joints, you'll be pleased to know you can get a similarly effective sweat without putting your body at risk with low-impact high intensity-workouts.

Like traditional HIIT sessions, low-impact high-intensity workouts have you working at maximum energy to do as many reps as possible in a given timeframe, followed by a short recovery break. But, you remove jumping moves from the equation, Molly Stewart, a NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Molly Winter Fitness, says.

While this is an effective way to burn fat and boost metabolism in a shorter time span, Stewart explains that low-intensity, high-impact workouts are also great if you are recovering from an injury, want to prevent injury, or want to reduce some impact on your joints.

"I love doing 3-4 circuits made up of three bodyweight-based exercises because they are easier to remember, and I don't need any equipment other than a yoga mat," Stewart shares.

Explore this workout option for yourself by grabbing a timer and trying out three sets of each of Stewart's suggested circuits: 45-second high-intensity moves with 15-second rests per exercise.

Before diving in, Stewart wants you to remember that listening to your body and knowing when it's right to modify moves is the key to feeling good.

"If you lack proper form or you're deconditioned or destabilized, you may need to change up certain exercises," Stewart says.

Circuit One

Circuit 2

  • Cannonballs
    • Laying on your back, breathe in as you tuck your knees into your chest, lift your head and shoulder blades off the ground, and wrap your arms around your knees.
    • Breathe out as you push your legs and arms out to a full extension. Squeezing your legs together, pull your belly button into your spine, and make sure your back stays flat on the floor.
    • Your arms and legs should hover six inches off the floor the whole time.
  • Straight leg crunches
  • Plank with shoulder taps

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