Low-impact modifications

Cardio workouts are wonderful to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Plus, they’re easy to do at home as they often don’t require equipment.

However, many cardio workouts involve jumping. This can be tough on your joints, and it may be bothersome if you live in a shared building or in close quarters with others.

Fortunately, there are simple modifications you can make to lower the impact and remove the jumping. Lowering the impact doesn’t mean lowering the intensity so you’ll still get the benefits!

Here are some low-impact modifications for common cardio exercises:

• High knees – start in a standing position with your arms over your head. As you drive each knee up towards your chest, lower your hands to touch your knee.
• Butt kicks – step to the right and kick your left foot up towards your butt. Repeat on the other side.
• Star jumps – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step out to the right and raise your arms above your head. Lower your arms to your sides as you return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
• Skaters – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a wide step to the right. Crouch down as you step your left foot out behind you and reach your left hand down to touch your right foot. Repeat on the other side.
• Squat jumps – lower into a squat position then spring up onto your toes and squeeze your glutes at the top.
• Jump lunges – step your right leg back into a lunge and drive your arms upward. Lower your arms as you return to a standing position. Repeat on the other side. To increase the intensity, you can drive your knee up as you return to a standing position.
• Burpees – stand with your feet hip-width apart. Crouch down and step out into a plank position. Step back into a crouch then return to a standing position, driving your arms into the air at the top.

Published on 27 October 2021

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