If your knees, ankles, or hips struggle with high-impact activities, this might be for you. Whether you’re an ex-athlete, a mom dealing with weight gain, or just prefer low-impact exercises, I’ve created a low-impact full-body workout for you. It’s designed to boost your heart rate and strengthen muscles, and you can add more weight as you improve. Let’s jump right in!
The Warm Up
Don’t skip your warm-up exercises! Warming up helps to activate your muscles. Muscle activation is crucial for building strength and avoiding injury. Simply put, to activate a muscle, you need to flex it. This action sends nerve impulses and blood to the muscle, which helps build and strengthen its fibers.
For this warm-up, you won’t need any weights. Set the clock to three minutes and the following as many times as possible!
- 10 Sumo Squats
- 10 Forward Arm Circles
- 10 Chair Pose Squats
- 10 Backwards Arm circles
Breaking It Down Further: To warm up for sumo squats, first stand with feet wider than shoulder-width turned out. Bend knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping them over ankles and core tight. Squeeze your glutes at the squat’s bottom and rise. Maintain this position for arm circles, activating and firming arms. Next, transition to chair pose squats: bring feet together, send hips back while keeping a straight back, and lift arms parallel to ears. Keep feet flat to avoid knee strain. After the chair pose, return to the sumo squat position for reverse arm circles, then repeat the sequence for three minutes.
The Main Workout
Use a 5, 10, or 15-pound dumbbell for this workout. If you are a beginner, recovering from surgery, or have weight restrictions, all these exercises can be done without weights. You’ll want to complete five rounds of the circuit below.
- 10 Sumo squats
- 10 Standing Chest Fly
- 10 Split squats right foot forward
- 10 Split squats left foot forward
- 10 Bicep curls
Breaking It Down Further:
- Sumo Squats: For weighted sumo squats, hold weights at the chest center and follow the initial steps, squeezing the glutes.
- Chest Fly: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms positioned like a goal post. Bring elbows to touch in front, then release back. Focus on working chest muscles, using biceps and shoulders for support. Keep elbows at shoulder height. Drop weights if needed.
- Split Squats: Step left foot back, hip bones forward, with weights at the heart center or along the body. Gently bend knees, touch left knee to the ground, ensuring right knee is over right ankle. Flex glutes while going down and up. Repeat with the right foot back.
- Bicep Curls: Keep feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, palms forward. Curl weight up, keeping elbows in. Lower weights intentionally. You benefit equally from lifting and lowering weights.
The Floor Portion
You won’t need weights for this portion. Repeat the circuit three times and work the back, chest, and core.
- 10 Superman/Superwoman
- 10 Push Ups
- 60-second plank
Breaking It Down Further:
- Superman/Superwomen: Lie on your stomach, extend and raise your arms and legs off the ground, forming a ‘C’ with your body. Do this ten times.
- Push-ups: For push-ups, place hands under shoulders, toes tucked, push off, keeping the neck in line with the spine. Your gaze should be ahead. For a modified version, drop knees, ensuring shoulders align with hip bones.
- Plank: Maintain top push-up position, hands spread wide, shoulders over wrists, neck straight in line with the spine, gaze ahead. Keep back flat, shoulders, hips, and ankles aligned. For a modified version, drop your knees to the floor.
Cooldown: The Stretch
You’ll need a yoga mat or other comfortable non-slip surfaces for the cooldown of this low-impact full-body workout. You’ll want to spend five minutes on this portion and really take your time to get the benefits of each stretch.
- Child’s pose
- Downward dog
- Standing arm stretch – across the chest
- Standing arm stretch – behind the head
- Standing quad
- Standing figure four
Note: Post-workout stretches are crucial for maintaining muscle flexibility, which decreases with age along with muscle mass and joint lubrication. Weight-bearing exercises build strength while stretching preserves flexibility and joint health, reducing injury risk. If unfamiliar with the listed stretches, focus on the quads, hamstrings, and arms. Visit our Instagram page for more workout videos, including this stretch sequence.
This low-impact full-body workout is sure to get your heart rate up and muscles engaged. Incorporating a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups, it ensures a comprehensive approach to fitness. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, you can modify the exercises to suit your comfort level. Remember, consistency is key in any workout regime. So, stick to it, make adjustments as needed, and watch your strength and endurance soar. Find more information on our blog today or checkout our easy workout routine for busy moms.