Low Impact Exercises

Posted on: January 14th, 2020 Posted by: Nicole Francois Posted in: Health, News

Exercising at home is an effective way to reach your exercise goals. Low-impact, bodyweight exercises, which are free and require need no equipment, have been proven to make an impact on overall strength and physical fitness. According to a study by the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, many of these exercises brought about a 31% increase in lower body strength after only six weeks.

 

If you’ve been temporarily sidetracked by an orthopedic injury, want to exercise on your non-gym days or just want to get back on track after the holidays, bodyweight exercises will work your muscles and help you work up a sweat.

 

Here are five low-impact exercises to get you started.

 

5 Totally Free Exercises to do at Home. No Equipment Needed.

 

1-Squat to jab

The perennial favorite that everyone loves to hate is the squat. It’s one of the best exercises around for low-impact aerobic work and for strengthening the lower back, shoulders, abs, and calves.

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms at your sides.
  2. Squat down with chest upright and eyes focused straight ahead.
  3. Stand up, and throw a cross-body punch with each arm.
  4. Squat down and repeat.

See how it’s done

 

  

2-Pushups

There’s not much you can do to improve upon the tried-and-true pushup. There are lots of variations, but the garden variety always does the trick.

  1. While on your knees, place your hands slightly outside the width your shoulders.
  2. Extend your legs while holding your body up with your arms.
  3. Lower your body and bring your chest almost to the floor. Keep your upper arms in a 45-degree angle. Pause slightly.
  4. Push back up by straightening your arms.
  5. Keep your stomach tight and try to keep your body straight during the entire exercise.

See how it’s done

 

3-Step-ups

  1. Step on a stair or curb with your right leg. Leave your left leg suspended without stepping and hold for one count.
  2. Put your left foot down, then step down with your right. Repeat on the other side for 10-15 repetitions per leg.

 

4-Standing alternating toe touches

A great cardio move that will make you feel like you’re in Babes in Toyland.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift your right leg straight up. Reach your left hand toward your right toe while keeping your back as straight as possible.
  3. Repeat with your left leg and right hand.

 

5-Rotational jacks

A slightly more interesting version than a jumping jack, you’ll be jumping, squatting and twisting your way to a higher heart rate.

  1. Start with your feet and hands together.
  2. Jump or step into a squat landing with your knees bent, feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and toes pointed slightly out. Reach your right hand to the sky and left hand to the floor.
  3. Jump or step back up into starting position.
  4. Jump or step back into a squat, reaching your left hand up and right hand down.
  5. Continue jumping or stepping and switching arms.

 

Things to consider

  • Always warm up for 5-10 minutes before starting any exercise. Simply walking in place for a few minutes will get your blood flowing, relax your muscles and lower your risk of injury.
  • You can modify many of the exercises above if your body / injury requires it or they get too easy. Beginners should start with 10-12 repetitions to build muscle strength. If you’re already physically fit, add hand weights or try alternative versions to mix things up and increase muscle endurance.
  • As with any new exercise routine, if you are under a doctor’s care, please consult your physician who can offer guidance based on your health status and fitness level