It is hard to lose weight if you have knee or joint pain. High impact is not “all that” if you have certain joint problems or are nursing an injury. If you want to introduce High Intensity Internal Training (HIIT) into your workout for better fitness, aerobic capacity and calorie burning but you are dealing with physical limitations, you can still work out. You may need to avoid certain moves or modify others to get an intense workout. It is important to find moves that are safe for you. These moves are also great for beginners. Here are 4 low impact HIIT moves that burn fat without causing unnecessary stress on your body.
Low Impact HIIT Exercises
You can still get high intensity out of a low impact fat burning circuit. These moves are soft on joints but hard on results. A HIIT workout alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of recovery, which is less-intense activity such as stepping side to side or walking. This workout is an efficient way to burn fat and boot metabolism in a short amount of time. These low impact HIIT moves do not require any special equipment and are quieter than other jumping HIIT moves, so they also work well if your floor happens to be your neighbor’s ceiling.
Complete one set of each exercise, doing each move at maximum intensity for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 second recovery period to catch your breath. Complete two to four total rounds, depending on your time and energy. If you are a beginner you can work up to more rounds. Do the circuit three days per week.
In traditional burpees, you jump up, put your hands on the floor and jump feet out to a plank position and jump feet back in. With jumpless burpees you eliminate the impact.
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and arms extended overhead. Push your 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. Lower into a pushup. Press up, and walk feet back into squat, and return to standing, reaching arms overhead. That’s one rep. Do this repeatedly at maximum intensity for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 second recovery period. You will do four sets.
This move feels like a squat jump, but your feet never leave the floor. Begin standing with feet just wider that hip-width apart. Squat down with knees over the ankle and arms in front of your chest. Place one palm on top of the other hand. Lower arms near hips and quickly stand up while reaching arms up overhead and out and lifting heels off the floor. Return to the starting position, repeating as rapidly as you can for 45 seconds. If you like squat and lunge moves, you can find more here.
Single Leg Running
Blast fat with this cardio move that also builds coordination. You begin in a lunge position with your right foot forward (left leg back) and left arm in front. Right arm is back. Then quickly bend your left knee, bringing it forward in front of your hip as your arms swing in the opposite directions Repeat on that same leg quickly for 30 seconds, working one side and then switch sides, starting with your left leg forward for 30 seconds. If you are familiar with STEP aerobics this is similar to a repeater move but on the floor and for a longer period of time.
You mimic skating side to side with this butt and thigh move that also targets your core muscles. Begin with feet apart wider than hip-width. Bend left knee, moving into a side lunge while extending the right leg and pointing the right foot all while bringing right arm forward and left arm back. Keep elbows bent.
While you remain in the squat position, quickly shift your weight and moves to the opposite leg and arms. Swing arms, “skating” from side to side. Continue skating side to side as quickly as possible for 45 seconds.
There are a number of other low impact high intensity moves that burn fat and help tone muscles. Always feel free to modify any jumping moves that are not right for you.
You can do this circuit in just 10 to 15 minutes. The great parts about these low impact HIIT moves is that you do not require any special equipment and you can do them anywhere—at home, in the park or at the gym.
Follow the circuit three days per week, adding in any other low-impact exercises. If you are following any of the videos in our 30 Day Fat Burn Fitness program and need to modify HIIT moves due to joint pain or an injury, then you can take out the impact by keeping your feet on the ground but keeping the intensity in the movement. Aim for maximum effort without hurting yourself.