Low-impact exercises should be a part of your workout routine along with high-intensity workouts. There are several benefits in including these workouts in your routine, and will be beneficial in the long-run, especially as you age.
Some of these exercises are extremely good for your core and metabolism. Reason being, while they engage your core muscles, they also work towards raising the heart rate.
However, before understanding which low-impact exercises work for the core muscles, you should understand what the term means.
What are low-impact exercises?
Low-impact exercises are those which can be performed in one swift motion while ensuring it’s not too intense for the joints.
One of the reasons why these exercises should be a part of your routine is because they work well for all levels of fitness. Everyone should do certain exercises which aren’t strenuous for the joints but are effective at improving physique and fitness levels.
Now, the core muscles truly benefit from these exercises. Putting too much unnecessary stress on abdominal muscles can lead to stomach aches, stomach cramps, and even fatal injuries. Therefore, it’s a better idea to focus on low-impact exercises to work on the core muscles.
8 low-impact exercises for the core muscles
Here is a list of eight exercises that will strengthen your core muscles while keeping your heart rate up.
1) Jumping jacks
While traditional jumping jacks require you to jump with both feet at the same time, you can perform low-impact jumping jacks by moving one foot at a time.
Step your right foot out and stretch your right arm in the air. Move to a neutral position and do the same with your left foot and left arm. Keep your core tight while doing this exercise and continue for 45 to 60 seconds.
Skaters are a good form of cardio and help with the leg muscles as well.
To do this exercise, stand with both legs bent. Cross your right leg from behind you and bend your right arm for balance. Change positions by pushing off with your left foot, bringing the right foot to a neutral position, and stepping back with your left. Avoid jumping to keep it a low-impact exercise.
3) Front kick plank
Performing a front kick plank will engage your core muscles as well as increase your heart rate because of the overall motion.
First, stand straight. Next, kick it out straight with one leg and bring it all the way backwards and go down to a runner's position with both hands on the floor. Do this for 12 to 16 reps before changing legs.
4) Standing oblique crunch
This is a low impact exercise which will help with the oblique muscles i.e., the ones that run by the side of your abdominal muscles.
Stand with your hands behind your head. Lift one leg with the knee facing outwards and at the same time bend down the same side. Ideally, you should be able to touch your knee with your elbow.
5) Squat and jab
Bodyweight squats are always a good way to increase your heart rate. If you add a jab to the movement at the same time while keeping your core engaged, it will not only make the core muscles stronger but also help with improving balance.
Swimming is a good way to improve your overall fitness. It requires the use of your entire body, and works your shoulders, back, legs, and core. Finally, the motion helps in increasing your heart rate, which is why it’s also a popular cardio option.
Similar to swimming, cycling is another low-impact exercise which helps the entire body. Additionally, activities such as swimming and cycling can be done with pace moderation. Hence, you can choose to make it a low-impact workout or a high intensity workout based on your workout routine.
Yoga is an important activity if you want to relax your joints and muscles. Almost all yoga positions require you to engage your core muscles and this helps in strengthening them. You can try a few yoga positions every day after your workout session to relax the joints and stretch the muscles.
Benefits of low-impact exercises
Now that you know what low-impact exercises are and the ones that you can perform on a regular basis, it’s time to know the benefits of the same.
- They’re extremely good for the joints
- Low-impact exercises help burn calories and add muscles
- The exercises improve your flexibility and mobility
- They’re an excellent way to release stress
It doesn't matter if you’re just starting to work out or you have been working out for a while, low-impact exercises will be beneficial for you either way. You must consider adding them to your workout routine immediately.