Low-Impact Cardio Blast Workout Routine

This low-impact, high-intensity workout is for the exerciser who wants a workout that improves cardiovascular health but is also easy on the joints. It is a circuit-style aerobic routine with each move performed for about one minute and little or no rest between exercises.

Safety and Precautions

See your doctor before performing these cardio blast exercises, especially if you have any injuries, illnesses, or medical conditions that could be aggravated by raising your heart rate. This helps ensure that the workout is safe for you given your health and fitness level.

Though these low-impact exercises are easier on the joints, it's also important to listen to your body. If you feel pain or discomfort when doing a specific movement, skip over it and move on to the next exercise. If the pain or discomfort persists, stop the workout completely and seek medical treatment.

Overview

Total Time: 10 minutes, plus a 5-minute warm-up and a 5-minute cool down

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Equipment Needed: Medicine ball

What to Expect: Complete all the exercises, one after the other with little or no rest in between (unless you need it). Aim to stay between a Level 5 and a Level 8-9 on the perceived exertion scale. When done without breaks, these moves take roughly 10 minutes to complete. If you want a longer workout, go through the low-impact circuit training routine two or more times.

Warm Up

Step touches
Ben Goldstein

Warm up for 5 minutes with light cardio, such as walking or step touches, to prepare your body for these cardio blast exercises. Really use your arms to get your heart rate going.

Side Lunge with Windmill Arms

Windmills

Ben Goldstein

Stand with your legs wide, arms straight out to the sides and parallel to the floor. Bend your right knee into a side lunge and bring your left arm down toward the foot. Repeat on the other side, lunging from side to side and bringing the opposite arm toward the foot. The faster you go and the lower you lunge, the harder it is. 

Repeat for 1 minute.

Knee Lifts With Medicine Ball

Knee Lifts with a Medicine Ball
Ben Goldstein

Hold a light medicine ball or weight straight overhead. Lift your right knee up to waist level while bringing the arms down, touching the weight to the knee. Return to start and repeat on the left side. Alternate knees.

Repeat for 1 minute.

Front Kick With Squat

front kick
Ben Goldstein

Stand with your feet together. Bring your right knee up and extend the leg in a front kick, being careful to not lock the knee. Lower down into a low squat (not pictured), keeping your knees behind your toes, and then kick with the left leg.

Repeat for 1 minute.

Diagonal Knee Smash

Knee Smash
Knee Smash. Paige Waehner

Put your weight on your right foot and reach your left leg straight out to the side, your toes lightly resting on the floor. Extend your arms up and to the right of your body.

Then, lift your left knee up and across your body, while bringing your arms down and to the left with a torso twist. Lower your left foot back to the starting position, tapping the floor before raising it again, going as fast as you can.

Repeat for 1 minute on each side.

Side to Side Lunge With Punch

Side to side jumping lunge
Ben Goldstein

Begin in a standing position and turn to the right, stepping your left foot straight back and bending the right knee into a lunge while punching with the left arm (punch not shown in image). Step the left foot back to start and repeat on the other side, stepping your right foot back and punching with the right hand. Move as quickly as you can while keeping good form.

Repeat for 1 minute.

Knee Lift With Side Kick

Side Knee with Side Kick
Side Knee with Side Kick. Paige Waehner

Shift your weight to your right leg and hold your arms in a boxer stance. Bring your left knee up to hip level while taking your left elbow down towards the knee, squeezing the muscles on the side of the waist (your external obliques). Lower your leg, shift your weight to the left leg, and kick to the side with the right leg.

Repeat for 1 minute, then switch legs and repeat for another minute.

Front Kick With a Low Lunge

Front kick with lunge
Ben Goldstein

Start in a standing position. Bring your right knee up and extend the leg in a snapping front kick without locking or hyperextending the knee. Bring the leg back and, keeping your balance on the left leg, immediately take the right leg back behind you in a lunge. Touch the floor with your fingertips.

Repeat for 1 minute on each side.

Cool Down

Walking an Indoor Track at the Gym

Hero Images / Getty Images

March in place or walk for 5 minutes to cool down, or use this as a transition for repeating the entire circuit if you want a longer low-impact cardio blast workout.

This low-impact cardio blast workout is easier on the joints, making it helpful for individuals with joint-related injuries or health conditions, such as osteoarthritis. However, if you feel any pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and talk with your doctor to learn more about which exercises are safe for you to do.

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