Need to get in shape but have joint problems or sports injuries? Skip the elliptical and do these 3 Low Impact Exercises for Weight Loss instead
Sometimes life happens hard, like getting in an accident, sustaining sports injuries, tendinitis, or chronic health problems. If weight loss or athletic conditioning is your goal, but injury or health issues prevent you from doing exercises that you normally rely on (like running), then you need to find some exercises that are low impact but still high intensity.
Low impact is not to be confused with low intensity: intensity and impact are two different things in fitness that are often related but can be independent. Low impact exercises can certainly be high intensity if you choose the right ones.
Whether you’re looking for weight loss that is long-term and isn’t hard on your joints, if you’re working through injuries and want to keep your conditioning up, or you just need to have some low-impact options to add into your fitness routine, here are 3 low-impact exercises that you should add into your regular workout routine today.
1: Strength training & Weight lifting
One of the single best ways to lose body fat (besides getting your eating habits on track) is strength training. Notice I said lose body fat, not lose weight…there is a subtle difference there but an important one!
Weight lifting and strength training during weight loss is crucial to any weight loss program (like the ones from Kiqplan). It can actually change your metabolism and can it will help shape your body and change your body composition.
Let me explain: muscle is metabolically active tissue – the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism. Your body has to work just to maintain your muscle mass and keep those muscles working. When a person loses weight, a good percentage of the weight that is lost is muscle mass if you are not working to maintain your muscle mass.
When you lose a lot of muscle mass, your metabolism drops significantly. If you lose weight but lose a lot of muscle too, you will be smaller but your metabolism will be slower too, making subsequent weight gain nearly inevitable.
If you’re trying to shape up, make fat loss the goal (not jut weight loss) and work to maintain muscle mass by lifting weights, strength training, and eating enough quality protein. Don’t just weight yourself, but also get your body composition checked regularly to make sure that you are reaching your fat loss goals.
There are so many fun ways to add strength training into your routine! If you’re looking for ways to keep your heart rate up during weight lifting and strength training workouts, try super sets, giant sets, and circuits. Throw in some low-impact metabolic exercises like kettlebell swings, sled pushes, and battle ropes to keep your workouts interesting and high intensity.
Swimming is a phenomenal workout! And I have to admit, I really suck at swimming laps. During my first triathlon, I was one of the last people out of the pool after the swim. I really am a terrible swimmer!
That being said, if you can get yourself in the water and have a basic grasp of swimming technique, you can crush your workout goals! Swimming really gets all of your big muscle groups working (back, arms, legs) without impact, making this an excellent option if you have bad knees or lower extremity joint problems.
Swimming laps is a great way to torch calories, some strokes are more effective than others: a 135-lb woman doing a vigorous butterfly stroke can burn 600+ calories an hour.
Our first triathlon! Swimming is my weakest link…
Like swimming, rowing is also a fantastic full-body workout! With rowing you work all of your major muscle groups with properly executed rowing: core, upper back, legs, and arms. The rowing machine is also one of my favorite machines to take my clients through for warm-ups before workouts for that very reason!
Rowing works your muscles and keeps your heart rate high: strength training and cardio rolled into one awesome workout. Pretty cool! If you’re curious about how many calories you are burning during your rowing workouts, try an activity tracker like the affordable FitBug Orb to track your activity and workouts.
Here are some other low impact exercises you can do to add variety to your workouts:
- Stair stepper
- Arm cycle
Curious about Kiqplan and how it works? Check out my video!
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
12 thoughts on “3 Low Impact Exercises for Weight Loss”
I love swimming although I am not good at it. You are saying you are a terrible swimmer but if you are doing triathlons you are good. Of course, everything is relative. I enjoyed your post, everybody can do low impact exercises to lose weight and/or to be healthy. For me is time to get back to do some strength training.
I am a fan of weight lifting and swimming. I also do enjoy running, oftentimes in treadmill to keep me indoors. Weight training helps to shape my body and swimming and other cardio help to boost my stamina and shed excess fat.
I think anyone will tell you that swimming will yield the best results. I know that when I used to swim, I was in the best shape of my life. It really works parts of your body that you didn’t even know you had so I would recommend it for sure. Thanks so much for sharing!
It is a very interesting site you got there.To me I find swimming or exercising in water as one of the greatest benefit out of all. That is because it will not only help reduce weight but it also improve your health overall, and this is much useful for those sedentary or elderly adult. Some people when they want to lose some weight, but they have an existing Cardiac conditions; like Post myocardial infarction, they cannot tolerate land-based exercise at all because it increase a lot of cardiac workload. That is why swimming or other exercising in water serve as a best alternative to exercising in the land. Not only it help reduce weight, but it also help strengthen your body due to the effect of viscosity, help promote your cardiovascular endurance and many more others. If you want to know more about benefits of swimming, I have my own blog about therapeutic exercises for adults with condition, you can visit if you want.
It’s all about losing weight while being easy on the body and joints. Swimming is my choice for a great cardio blast. A couple times a week mixed in with my other workouts. Here is a great low impact, no equipment required, building lean muscle. With more muscle the body burn more fat. The key is keeping it low impact reducing injury.
I like that you mention swimming. I’ve started swimming in the mornings the past couple of weeks and I feel great. I, too, and not a very good swimmer, but I love how it’s low impact on my joints. I hope to keep doing it for years!
Swimming is a wonderful total body workout. I love it. I was one of the few kids with the luxury of having a pool in the back yard. Come summer I would be in the pool every day. Unfortunately, that was then. Now I mainly stick to my 3 weekly kettlebell workouts… which are also great.
I love kettlebells! I need to learn some more exercises and techniques with them, but they are fantastic workout tools
I think swimming is the best form of exercise for people with health problems.The natural water resistance is all they need to prevent injuries and transform their bodies.
Swimming is definitely an amazing workout!
yeah for swimming! I love lap swim, I’m also a huge fan of aqua bootcamps that incorporate weights and resistance training in the water. But a butterfly stroke at pace for an hour sounds a little out of reach for most swimmers, even experienced butterfliers. Lap swim is the bomb…spread that message girl! I want everyone in speedos! 🙂
Yes, butterfly for an hour is quite a reach 😉 It’s just an example, although I probably could have used a different one lol. I want to do another triathlon so I really need to get back into swimming again – and stick with it for good this time. I have always avoided it since I am really no good at it, but it is such a great low-impact change of pace for my body