A Definitive Ranking of Low-Impact Workouts

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Vote for the Best Low-Impact Workouts

Working out doesn't always have to mean turning red and being on the verge of passing out through every moment of it. There are plenty of low-impact workouts that will help keep you in shape without totally exhausting you.

A low-impact workout involves very little striking of your feet on the ground. Let's be real– that can be painful and cause permanent damage to your body if not done properly. With a low-impact workout, you're at much less risk of injury while not completely hating every gasp for air you take.

What are some of your favorite low-impact workouts to try at home, at the gym, or outside? There's a ton of options, probably way more than you'd expect. We've compiled a list of some of the best low-impact workouts we'd recommend anyone to try. Take a look and sort your favorites! You might be a bit surprised by your favorite options.


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We've been doing it since we were a year old, but we sometimes overlook the importance of it. Walking steadily on a treadmill or even taking a walk around your neighborhood will get your blood flowing. Add hills for a heightened intensity.


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Elliptical machines are generally deemed less stressful on your legs than treadmills. You can choose to move as fast or slow as you would like without adjusting any settings.


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Cycling workouts are a favorite to many. Cycling reduces strain on joints as well and allows you to control your pace easily. Many fitness have options to cycle with a class or on your own. You can also cycle freely on your bike outside.


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Rowing changes up the game by putting your upper body to work. It's a very easy and versatile activity to keep you in shape.


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If being stuck inside of a gym doesn't seem like your ideal fitness activity, who not take it outside? Even better-- take it to a mountain. Hiking outdoors will definitely make a work out more interesting.


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Swimming as an exercise is known for going very easy on your joints. It's extremely relaxing and can even help strengthen your lungs.

Ballroom Dancing

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This one is fun and can be done with a partner. You'll be having fun without even realizing you're working up a sweat!


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Ditch the golf cart and walk the course to get a good workout while golfing. You'll be working on your swing and getting your steps in for the day.


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Kettlebells are extremely versatile and even promote muscle growth. Working with kettlebells has been known burn a similar amount of calories as any standard cardio workout might.


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Kayaking might be comparable to rowing on a machine inside of a gym, but with an obviously much better view. When you're done taking a spin around the lake, you won't even realize the huge workout you just got in.


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TRX means total body resistance. This workout uses suspension straps to complete typical bodyweight exercises.


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Barre is a dancer-inspired workout that has become increasingly popular in the fitness world lately. It's a lot harder than it looks, and will leave you really feeling the burn immediately after the workout.


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Yoga is known for it's capabilities to relieve all sorts of stress. You'll really feel the burn without ever having to get off of your mat.

Circuit Training

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Circuit training involves alternating through different strength training exercises, without any rest in between. It can be a lot of fun when done with a partner or even a big group in a fitness class.