At LIV Fitness in Dublin, CA, we offer lots of help and even provide personal trainers. If you have a special need, such as joint problems, which requires low impact ways to stay fit, our trainer is glad to provide that aid. However, there are things you can do on your own for a program that’s easy on the joints, while cutting the risk of musculoskeletal injury. Dancing is one of those workouts that you can do at home. Avoid moves like jumping or leaping. Play some oldies, like “The Twist” and you’ll be burning calories and having fun.
You can build strength without injuring joints.
What’s a low impact exercise? It’s defined as one where at least one foot remains in contact with the ground. Luckily, that doesn’t describe most strength-building workouts. You can do basic dumbbell presses or frontal raises. Sumo squats and reverse lunges are also considered low impact. Step-ups are also low impact, but if you’re having problems with knee joints, rather than create your own program, get the help of a trainer to guide you in building the muscles around the joints to relieve the stress, before you opt for working out on your own.
Low impact cardio gets your heart pumping without stressing your joints.
When you think cardio, you probably first think of running. That’s a joint jostling high-impact workout. You don’t have to have that amount of stress to get benefits. You can modify some exercises, like jumping jacks, to avoid the jumping part. Just take a step out to the right first, instead of jumping when you raise your arms. Slide your foot back into position and then step out to the left as you raise your arms. If you want to keep it simpler, use a stationary bike in the gym. It reduces weight-bearing stress on joints, while reducing stiffness and pain with the movement lubricating joints.
Swimming is a good low impact workout.
Your body’s buoyancy in the water helps remove the stress by reducing the resistance up to 12 times as much as the same movement on dry land. Just walking in the water can build muscle, yet doesn’t irritate the joints. Even though walking on dry land is also low impact, it doesn’t burn as many calories or build strength as fast.
- Consider mild forms of yoga or tai chi. Tai chi involves gentle, thoughtful movements and may look easy, but it’s not.
- A rowing machine provides a low impact workout that builds upper body strength. If you want the feeling of running, without the impact, try the elliptical machine. Elliptical machines give a full body workout, too.
- If you’re extremely concerned about the amount of impact on your joints, consider isometric exercises. Just by taking a deep breath and tightening your abs for a minute, as you sit up straight, can build ab strength.
- When should you avoid high-impact exercise? If you’re pregnant, have joint or bone injuries, have stress fractures or arthritis, are overweight or are just starting a program of exercise. Strengthening the muscles around the joints first helps prevent problems.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness