HIIT Training Workouts

This Low-Impact Cardio Workout Redefines ‘Power Hour’

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/Javier Diez
Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the most grueling workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

Low-impact cardio is viewed by some as the “easier” alternative. But here’s a little secret: You don’t have to do burpees, jump squats, and sprints in order to get your heart pumping.

According to Sam Tooley, a personal trainer in New Jersey, a low-impact cardio workout isn’t just more joint-friendly; it provides the same benefits high-impact exercises would. That means better brain health, a healthier heart, a boosted mood, and more, all using a method that’s much more gentle on your body. “Any flow of movements you can can pair together to get your heart rate jacked up and a sweat going do the trick,” he says.

This low-impact cardio workout playlist uses three videos to provide a maximum-level burn with minimal stress on your body. You’ll use a mini trampoline to take the pressure off your joints and complete exercises like no-jumping jumping jacks and floor-drop push-ups. This might just become your new favorite way to check cardio off your to-do list.

This low-impact cardio workout playlist is easy on your joints

1. Low-impact cardio rebounder workout

Time: 22 minutes

If you have a mini trampoline at home, it’s a great low-impact way to get in your cardio. “I love the trampoline because it’s really low-impact, but it’s not lacking in intensity. So it’s really high adrenaline, it’s very much still cardio, and it gets your entire lymphatic system draining and moving,” says Colette Dong, founder of The Ness. Extra bonus: It also builds pelvic floor strength.

2. Low-impact HIIT workout

Time: 15 minutes

Trainer Ash Wilking will show you just how out of breath you can get doing low-impact HIIT during this 15-minute workout. While traditional HIIT moves like burpees generally include a lot of jumping, hers has none. Instead, you’ll go through a 15-minute circuit where you’ll do five exercises three times each, including medicine ball slams, three-point lunges, and tricep pulses. “The days where you want to get a sweat in but you don’t want to feel the pounding of the pavement? This is the workout for you,” she says.

3. Low-impact cardio workout

Time: 25 minutes

In this 25-minute workout, trainer Charlee Atkins proves you can get your cardio in a way that 1) doesn’t hurt your knees and 2) won’t disturb your downstairs neighbors. Using nothing but your mat, you’ll start with a four-minute warmup then move into three circuits. During those circuits, you’ll do exercises like plank swimmers, bicycles, and bodyweight rows. By the time the workout is finished, you’ll be lying on your mat in a puddle of sweat. Guaranteed.

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