Check out our low impact HIIT workout to enhance fat loss, without using high impact movements.
There’s absolutely no doubt that HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is one of the best and most widely used exercise methods for losing weight.
It’s fast, efficient and damn does it melt away fat.
However, when many of us think HIIT, images of people jumping around, lifting weights and all-out sprinting come to mind. While these types of movements are a staple for many HIIT sessions, they don’t suit everyone, and they aren’t your only option.
As trainers, we often hear complaints of cramp, injury and joint soreness from these high-impact movements. To help combat this issue and ensure you still get an effective fat-loss workout in your weekly routine, we’ve created a low-impact HIIT workout.
To do this, we’ve taken some less-demanding movements, and turned them into a truly challenging interval cardio workout that you can perform at the gym.
Check it out.
[Related Article: 13 HIIT Exercises You Need in Your Weight Loss Workouts]
Why use low impact HIIT?
There’s no denying HIIT is intense, it’s the reason it works so well for fat loss. But that doesn’t mean the movements have to take their toll on your joints.
Although high-impact movements like jumping, sprinting and weight lifting at high speeds are associated with this type of training, they aren’t your only option.
Instead, an intelligent low impact HIIT workout can help you burn fat, whilst minimizing joint pain and soreness.
We’ve created a more palatable workout that avoids impact-based movements and instead utilizes exercises that won’t jolt your joints or bones. While this may be a softer approach to the choice of movements, the intensity of the workout will still be high, so you can reap all the rewards of HIIT.
Check out this less demanding low impact HIIT workout below.
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Low impact HIIT workout
This is a challenging full body workout, designed to get your heartrate high and your muscles working hard. You’ll feel the burn across your whole physique with this one, even though it’s low impact, and won’t leave you hurting in a bad way.
We’ve used an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) structure, so you’re working hard with a few breaks too. The workout is spread out across five exercises and should only take you around ten minutes to complete. It’s short, sharp and perfectly designed for anyone, including those of us who don’t enjoy high impact movements.
Check it out.
Four rounds of the following per exercise:
- 20 seconds work
- 10 seconds rest
Overall 10-minute low impact HIIT workout
Low impact HIIT exercises:
- Air squats
Strip away all the weight and take it back to basics with air squats. By swapping out weighted or jumping squats you’ll take the strain off your joints, but still achieve a good leg burn that will raise your heartrate and put you right in the anaerobic zone.
What’s more the air squat is a compound movement. This means it involves a larger group of muscle fibers and, the more your use, the more calories you burn.
- Sit ups + twist each side
We’ve literally put a twist on your sit ups for this one.
Sit ups are another very low-impact HIIT exercise, but by adding a twist to each side at the top of every movement, you’re working a bigger selection of core muscles and upping the tempo. This should help get your heartrate high and your lungs working hard.
Whereas running sprints put a lot of strain through your joints and every step creates a moment of impact with the floor, rowing is the opposite.
There’s no impact in rowing, yet it recruits the whole body to get your blood pumping double-time. Go for rower sprints while maintaining a tight form to challenge your body, without suffering from the aches and pains that can come with running.
- Step ups
The box jump is a common culprit for joint pain and even muscle injury due to its high-impact nature. If you experience pain, it’s best to avoid it. Instead a step-up is a low impact alternative that will get your body working hard, without the negative side effects.
Simply step up onto a box with one leg, stand up completely on it, before stepping back down. This should not only help you to get well and truly out of breath, it’ll target your glutes, helping to develop the muscle.
Remember to alternate legs as you go to encourage equal glute development.
- Push ups
This movement pulls in your arms and chest for a full-body low impact cardio workout. With so many muscles in the firing-line, this is another great way to burn more calories. Try to keep the tempo high as you work through your 20 seconds of exercise.
If it’s too challenging to do a full push up, place your knees off the floor and go from there instead. Maintain good form throughout and don’t let your back droop as the exercise becomes more challenging. Keep your core, back and glutes tight so you remain rock-solid through every rep.
[Related Article: 6 Best Natural Fat Burners According to Science]
The final rep
A killer HIIT session doesn’t have to ruin your joints, or put you off interval training altogether.
Instead a smart low-impact cardio workout can get your body working hard, without any of the aches and pains that certain movements can cause.
Try this one for yourself to maximize your weight loss efforts in every workout.