The 9 Best Low Impact Workouts That Still Burn Major Calories

Because sometimes your body (and joints) need a break.

By: Emily Freeman

Low impact doesn’t have to mean low intensity! You can easily break a sweat, torch major calories, and sculpt lean muscle without going all out for every workout — and taxing your joints (and energy!) in the process. While HIIT workouts can be a great addition to any workout plan, it’s not for everyone. And, if you’re only adding HIIT workouts in because you think it’s the only  or quickest way to being insanely fit, well, we have some (good!) news for you. With a little know-how, low-impact movements can yield similar results as high-impact, explosive movements (think: jump squats and jump lunges) while giving your joints a break. That’s right, more is not always more! So, whether you already deal with some joint pain, you want to ensure your joints are healthy for the long run, or you’re simply not a fan of high-impact HIIT, we’ve got you covered. Ahead, some effective and fun low-impact workouts that you’ll want to mix into your schedule!

Why Choose Low Impact Workouts?

If you’re dealing with joint pain or are just starting your fitness journey, news that low impact workouts can be effective for your weight loss goals is a big win. However, if you’re not, you’re probably wondering why you shouldn’t just focus on high-impact workouts. For one, it’s just not necessary to reach your goals, and adding in some workouts that are easier on your joints can:

  • Reduce the risk of injury 
  • Increase range of motion 
  • Improves technique and alignment
  • Minimize recovery time between workouts 
  • Increase stability and balance
  • Build muscle and improve your metabolism 
  • Develop muscular endurance
  • Burn fat in the aerobic zone, different from the anaerobic zone that high-intensity workouts focus on 
  • Relieve stress and improve a sense of calm

The Best Low Impact Workouts to Burn Major Calories 

These low impact workouts will help you burn fat, sculpt muscle, improve alignment, and condition your heart to keep you on track while giving your body and joints a needed rest. 

Low Impact Quick HIIT

Thought you couldn’t sweat it out with a HIIT workout in a low-impact way? Think again! This 17-minute workout with Breanne Mitchell will take it easy on your joints, not your stamina! Get ready to torch some calories with this low-impact burner.

Low Impact Tone

Tone and tighten while you strengthen and sculpt! Roll out your mat for this 15-minute Pilates-style low-impact workout with Vuori. You’ll work your total body without taxing your joints.

Low Impact Tabata

Don’t assume low-impact means low-intensity! This 21-minute Tabata-style HIIT workout with Breanne Mitchell will test your limits and leave you sculpted and sweaty. No equipment needed.

Low Impact Sweat

A guaranteed sweaty burner – no jumping required. This 15-minute low-impact sweat sesh with Shantani Moore will help strengthen your entire body and get your heartrate up while showing your knees some love!

Low Impact Legs 

Grab your dumbbells, roll out your mat, and get ready to target your lower body with Kenny Ferrer. Designed with intentionally-focused moves, this 21-minute low-impact lower body workout will work your legs from multiple angles to build strength and reduce the risk of injury.

Low Impact Cardio Blast

With exercises like knees up, front kicks, and low impact Burpees, Jeanette Jenkins kicks your butt in this 21-minute low impact cardio workout. Get ready to sweat!

Pilates Head to Toe 

Pilates is one of the best low-impact workouts to sculpt long, lean muscles, improve posture, and strengthen your core. And Cassey Ho doesn’t disappoint in this 23-minute workout that targets all your major muscle groups. 

Full Body Foundations

Just starting your fitness journey? This one’s for you! Danielle Pascente takes you through a 15-minute total body workout to master your form of foundational compound movements like squats, lunges, and glute bridges, so you can tackle more complex workouts safely. 

Newbie HIIT 

So you’ve heard the news, HIIT workouts are awesome for burning fat and building muscle, and you want to get on board. This workout is the perfect place to start! With exercises like Squat to Lunge and Mountain Climbers to punches, Breanne Mitchell will get your heart rate up in this 24-minute beginner low-impact HIIT workout. 

Time to Cool Down and Recover!

Taking a couple of minutes to cool down after your workout will do wonders for your recovery time between workouts, muscle soreness, flexibility, and mobility. Here are some of our favorites to get you started! 

Flow & Stretch

This active recovery sesh with Vuori is the perfect balance of stretching and yoga. Spend 17-minutes targeting your whole body as you flow through movements that open, expand, and energize you from head to toe.

All-Out Stretch

Bree Koegel leads you through a 9-minute total body stretch that will have you feeling great and ready to tackle your next workout!

Recovery Day 

Everyone needs at least one rest day per week. With gentle stability and mobility movements like Bird Dog, Camel pose, and Child’s pose, Vytas leads you through the perfect routine to do on your day off to make sure your body is in prime condition and ready to go for the next sweat session. 

Stretch & Feel Good 

Jeanette Jenkins will have your body feeling gooooood after this 21-minute stretch routine. Hip Circles, Fold Over, Cross-Legged Hip Stretch, Twists, and Lying Hamstring Stretch will open your joints and lengthen your muscles to alleviate tension in your body and mind. 

Uplevel Your Low Impact Routine

The way your body feels and functions is the foundation of your well-being. If you’re beating your body up every workout, you could be doing more harm than good. Incorporating more low impact workouts into your schedule will help balance out your energy expenditure, keep your joints happy, and keep you feeling fit for many years to come.