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A Low-Impact HIIT Routine to Get Your Heart Pumping Without Harming Your Joints

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  • Post last modified:September 25, 2023

At this moment, you’ve probably heard of high-intensity interval training, but just in case you need a reminder: HIIT is a style of workout that alternates between vigorous bursts of activity and fixed periods of less intense activity or even complete rest. It’s one of the most effective and efficient ways to enhance aerobic capacity and burn calories, but simply because it’s high intensity doesn’t mean it has to be high impact.

If you’re nurturing an injury — or wish to prevent injury — you can still obtain the numerous benefits of the training style by tackling this low-impact HIIT workout. This sweat session was designed to assist you in reaching your maximum potential without putting strain on your joints, and you don’t require any equipment or a lot of space. Translation: You won’t disturb your neighbors with loud, thumping jumps during this low-impact HIIT workout, and it’s perfect for a hotel room or small apartment.

Equipment-Free, Low-Impact HIIT Workout

How it functions: Three days per week, perform 1 set of each exercise in the low-impact HIIT workout circuit. Execute each move at maximum intensity for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of active recovery (step side to side or walk around the room to catch your breath). Complete 2 to 4 rounds in total, based on the amount of time and energy you possess.

You’ll require: no equipment

Stationary Skater

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart. Bend right knee into a side lunge, extending left leg and pointing left foot and simultaneously propelling left arm forward and right arm back with elbows bent.

B. Maintaining a low squat position, rapidly shift weight to the left leg, descending into a left side lunge, bending the left knee, and pointing the right foot. Swing the right arm forward and the left arm back.

Repeat for 45 seconds, alternating sides.

Jump-Free Burpee

A. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.

B. Push hips back and bend knees to lower into a squat. Place hands on the floor and quickly walk feet back into a full plank position. Immediately lower into a push-up.

C. Press up, walk feet back into squat, and return to standing, reaching arms overhead to return to the starting position.

Repeat for 45 seconds.

Seated Tuck Jump

A. Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair or box, leaning back slightly. Pull abs in tight and bend knees about 90 degrees.

Put sharp tips slightly on the ground, flex forearms, and place palms in front of shoulder blades.

B. Swiftly raise knees up and lightly touch thighs with hands, remaining upright and drawing legs inward. Immediately return to the initial position.

Repeat for 45 seconds.

(Tip: Think ‘up’ during this low-impact HIIT workout exercise. Try to emphasize the lift, rather than the descent, of the legs to target your core more effectively and maintain an elevated heart rate.)

Kickin’ Plank

A. Begin in a table-top position with hands directly beneath shoulders and knees bent and aligned beneath hips. Step one leg back at a time to transition into a high plank position on palms, with feet hip-width apart.

B. Quickly kick the right leg toward the left, as the left hand reaches towards the right foot and the torso rotates to the right, pivoting on the left foot. Return to the initial position (rotate back to full plank).

Repeat for 45 seconds, alternating sides.

Butterfly Squat

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than the width of your hips, and extend your arms forward with the left palm on top of the right hand. Lower yourself into a squatting position.

B. Lower your arms down to your hips in preparation to swiftly rise, extending your arms overhead and lifting your heels off the ground. Immediately return to the starting position.

Repeat for 45 seconds.

(Tip: This low-impact HIIT workout move should feel like a squat jump without leaving the floor. Make your movement quick and explosive, but instead of jumping up, simply raise your heels off the ground.)

Rising Lunge

A. Stand with your feet together and your arms bent at your sides, with your hands clenched into fists. Engage your core and take a large step forward with your left foot, lowering yourself into a lunge until both knees form 90-degree angles.

B. Swiftly extend your legs and rise up onto the balls of your feet, while extending your arms overhead and reaching your fingertips towards the ceiling. Immediately return to the starting position.

Repeat for 45 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

(Tip: This low-impact HIIT workout move should feel like a lunge jump without leaving the floor. Make your movement quick and explosive, but instead of jumping up, simply raise your heels off the ground.)

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