Low impact exercises for when you don’t feel like running

Exercises that are gentle on your joints and ligaments.
low impact exercises

When we think of working out, we may find ourselves put off by the idea of a high-intensity training regimen. Moreover, we often think that in order to effectively exercise and lose weight, we need to be doing intense cardio regimens like sprinting or burpees – but this isn’t true. Low impact exercises are just as effective as high impact regimens. 

Whether you have an injury, low mobility or simply don’t enjoy strenuous cardio, low impact exercises are a great alternative that still deliver the same results.

What is a low impact exercise?

A low impact workout generally entails exercises that don’t put a lot of stress on the body, particularly the ligaments and joints. This means that a low impact workout won’t be physically strenuous or require running, hitting and pounding.

Instead, these workouts will have either both feet consistently on the ground or even have you sitting on the floor.

What are the different types of low impact exercises?


Yoga is a great low impact cardio workout as well as a strengthening exercise too. If you want it to, your yoga practice can consist entirely of floor work. You can also mix some standing movements or even a few sun salutations.


From improving muscular stability to postural strength, pilates is all-round good for the mind, body and soul. It also doesn’t require a lot of vigorous movement making it the perfect low impact cardio workout. 

In fact, its inventor, Joseph Pilates invented the workout because he spent much of his adolescence sickly and immobile and wished to improve his strength.


The elliptical machine is another great low impact cardio choice, particularly for those who have knee pain. This particular workout is good for a total body cardio workout as it exercises the legs, upper body and core.

Because your feet are planted firmly on the pedals for the duration of the workout, it is far kinder to your joints than running. 


Just like the elliptical machine, cycling is another excellent choice for a low intensity workout that’s also gentle on the joints. In fact, cycling is often hailed as one of the best workouts for those who have arthritis. 

As well as being kind to your joints and ligaments, cycling will also help you strengthen your muscles so you can support your ankles, knees and feet. 


Not only is walking a low impact workout, it’s the most accessible exercise on this list. All you need is yourself. Whether it’s on a treadmill, around the streets near your home or on a scenic trek, walking has a host of health benefits and doesn’t require equipment or a gym membership to do it.

Core strength exercises

Another great low impact exercise you can do from the comfort of your own home is core strength workouts. Core workouts can improve posture, improve your balance and even help manage back pain in some circumstances. 

You might be thinking that core strength workouts means burpees, mountain climbers and other rigorous exercises, but you can do core strength workouts in a low impact way too.

From the comfort of your floor you can do crunches, reverse crunches, Russian twists and planks at your own pace whilst still engaging and working out those core muscles.

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