Low Impact Cardio Workout for Beginners

Workout Details

Starting a new workout regimen is never easy but starting a workout regimen when you have never worked out before or have taken years off can be downright scary. It takes a delicate balance of keeping your motivation up due to teetering between not making enough headway and working out too hard too soon. So what is the right way to start up an exercise program?

“Slow and steady wins the race”. The key is to start easy and try to challenge yourself a little bit more with every workout. As you get closer to your own limits you will start getting sore on the day or two after a routine. If you get uncomfortably sore then you know you have pushed just a little too far. When you hit that mark you need to slow down the pace at which you are increasing the difficulty of your workouts and start looking at other variables to add in such as flexibility, muscle building, and diet modification to help you continue on your path to the body and fitness level that you want.

With that approach in mind, this beginner cardio routine was built for those brand new to exercise and those coming back after a long break. Built to be easy enough for even the most out of shape person, this workout is also designed to be easily modified to become harder as you progress in strength and endurance through your first month or two before having to switch to a more challenging routine. This will help you get through those crucial first weeks of habit building without having to worry about looking for new exercises.

The following is a more detailed look at each low impact cardio exercise and the different ways to modify each motion from its easiest form to it’s most difficult.

1. Jog in Place Jacks: In its easiest form this is a very slow and light walking in place with a slow jumping jack like motion with your arms. But as you need to progress, change your walking motion to marching, jogging, high knees or full blown jumping jacks, increasing your arm movement speed as you increase the difficulty of the leg movement.

2. Windmill Steps: The beginning level of this exercise is just a simple side step, letting your trailing leg come behind you with a slight tap, as well as adding the large circular arm swing. As you want this to be harder you can drop your hips lower to the ground, adding a squatting position. Increase the step width and speed until you substitute the motion with a lateral jump rather than a step.

3. Static Squat + Punches: Starting with a very shallow squat and a punching motion without any extra weight, only hold your squat for a few seconds before coming up continuing your punches. As you progress stay down longer (until the maximum time), squat lower, and start using dumbbells with your punching motion. Do not, however, speed up your punches, especially if using extra weight.

4. Static Lunge + Curls: Start with a shallow lunge with your feet relatively close together and either very light dumbbells or possibly only arm weight for your bicep curls. As you progress, lunge deeper and with your feet further apart and increase the amount of weight you use with your curl. Do not increase the speed of your curl.

5. Static Lunge + Tricep Extension: With this lunge position only the front leg is bent and the rear leg is extended straight. Start with a shallow lunge and little to no weight in your hands. When you want more of a challenge, increase the depth of the lunge and the distance between your feet as well as the amount of weight you are using for your tricep extension. Do not increase the speed of your tricep extensions.

6. Fingertip to Toe Jacks: Start with a slow leg lift reaching to your toes each time then increase the height of the leg lift as well as the speed of the leg until you are actually hopping back and forth from leg to leg with only one foot on the ground at a time and moments when both feet are off the ground. At this pace you will need to alternate one hand going up while the other is coming down.

7. Stutter Step: The easiest version of this exercise is still hard but start with all of your weight in one leg with only a slight bend (or even keep it straight), placing the opposite leg back only a few inches behind you and driving the knee up in front of you slowly as you bring your hands down. Increase the depth of your squat on the supporting leg while extending the moving leg further and further behind you. At the same time, start increasing the speed of which you move your arms and leg.


This low impact cardio workout is an ideal starting point for beginners. This is also a great workout for obese people, or for those who are otherwise overweight. It has been specifically designed to have an emphasis on low impact exercises that raise the heart rate while causing minimal stress to the joints.

Comments

amillia81 Blender Account

How often should I do this Cardio workout if I am doing it together with your toning workouts as well? I also had to take a break between each set cause I have never worked out before and I wanted to know if it will still be effective?

fitness blender Blender Account

Amillia - It will still be very effective, even if you take breaks. Because this workout is so low impact, you could do it every day if you wanted to. However you end up combining the routines, we recommend doing no more than 90 minutes (max) per exercise session. 45-60 Minutes is ideal.

bevslovespaul Blender Account

I have an achilles tendonities I've been working out for 8 months. I'm still working up to now but I tend to stop when I feel pain in my ankle. When I force to do my routine its more painful and its swelling and it will take weeks for me to stop. And when its getting better I start to workout again but I always have the same situation again and again. I want to continue working out to loss weight and to have healthy lifestyle. Can you please help me find an appropriate exercise for me. thank you.

Consciously Google Account

If you have any achilles problem, lunges and stutter steps are really to be avoided. Those exercises burden the achilles tendons and make the condition worse in your case, potentially even causing further injury. Have you seen a doctor? Were you given any medication to help the tendonitis? In any case, you should consult a professional about your condition. Also, you need to start with activities extremely slowly, putting only a gentle pressure on the tendon. A lot of people never re-gain a full functionality of the achilles after an injury occurred. You need to start with exercises and pace suitable for rehabilitation of your injury.

fitness blender Blender Account

@bevslovespaul Just like any injury that is aggravated by physical activity, you have to take the time to properly rehabilitate other wise you will continually re-injure it. It would be best to talk to your doctor or a physical therapist to fix the under lying issues (weak tendons, muscles, supporting muscles, or muscle imbalance) other wise you will always have problems. I wish I could be of more help but everyone is different and may need a different approach to help them heal.

bevslovespaul Blender Account

Thanks, I'm looking forward for special exercises for people who have special cases like me. I hope your team can also cater some special cases. Thanks and more power.

PS. does this low impact cardio also helps in loosing weight? thanks.

fitness blender Blender Account

@bevslovespaul Yes, this can definitely help with weight loss, even being low impact.

raya Blender Account

Hey ! first I want to congratulate you guys for this amazing website and videos , It really helps me out :) but I wanna ask you if I want to loose weight, what kind of exercises should I combine in my home workout program :) .. Thank u :)

fitness blender Blender Account

@raya Thank you. For weight loss, you want cardio on most days and strength training for core, upper and lower body 2-3x/week each.

kitty1964 Blender Account

I tried this workout today and I must admit I did have to rest after each segment and also had to put down the weights. I feel amazing afterwards. thank you very much

lana k Blender Account

Hi!! I love this workout! Thanks for a wonderful website and videos. I just want to ask you if I want to lose weight should I eat before or maybe after exercises?Thanks .

emily.g Blender Account

Thank you so much for this workout. I am a complete beginner and this video and your other low impact videos are really helping me to exercise more. I'm already noticing a difference so will hopefully soon be able to complete some of your more difficult videos. Thank you again :)

jaywass72 Blender Account

I am just starting the 8 week weight loss program. Fun workout!!

hwaliaz Blender Account

I started with 8 week program....looking forward to loosing about 10lbs......I will try my best!!!

commit2befit Blender Account

How do I find out how many calories this exercise burns for my own weight?

walkerg Blender Account

You can't. It will always be an approximation at best. Moreover, this doesn't depend only on your weight. Your general health, your diet, the shape your joints are in, how well you do each move as well as a bunch of other factors come into play. Be aware that none of these factors can be accurately quantified, therefore, your calorie burn cannot be quantified either.

The important thing is not exactly how many calories you burn, but that you are burning calories and pushing yourself into a zone that is tough but feasible for you. Pair that with a diet that suits your goal and takes into account the fact that you are burning calories through exercise (in general, striving for proteins is a good approach no matter your fitness goal). Keep weighing yourself and measuring inches, keep a log and make comparisons. With some trial and error, you will find out soon enough which workout routines help you work towards your goal and how often you need to do them, without having to know how many calories you burn.

Oh, and don't be worried if you lost weight but can't see it in the mirror. When losing fat and at the same time gaining muscle, this is what happens at first, as muscle weighs more than fat. Similarly, if you gain inches on arms and legs, don't panic. It just might mean that you have developed some lean muscle, which usually translates into a shapely body. If you lose weight and gain inches, you are on the right track.

sunshine786 Blender Account

Thanks for the amazing videos! Trying hard to keep up with a couple...just a question..how do i know how many calories i will burn for my weight? Im a 5"7 female and i weight 184lbs.
Thanks alot :)

dlschnidt Blender Account

Just did my first low impact beginner work out! Woot Woot! Had to stop a few times to breath and hard keeping my balance at times but for a lady with drop foot and a sedentary life for the last 10 years I say I did OK!

walkerg Blender Account

Love your attitude! Instead of complaining of changes being too slow and being all negative like a lot of people, you feel good about being on the right track and proud about what you do, which is all positive. I say attitude in and of itself is already a battle won. This is what will keep you motivated and your chances of success are greatly improved by this.

Keep up the good work!

letty3634 Blender Account

working out to 5 mile at home walk has been working out good i need to change my routine,have lost about 25 lbs so far,i cant do the jumping up n down type of exercise still to heavy for that , i weigh 270 looking for a low impact cardio like this or like the one i have been working out to,will 30 min of this everyday help me burn fat and calorie and at my weight how much will i burn in 30. i eat 1200 calories a day no more than 100 carbs, fats @ 64 a day or less. female 43 yrs old. resting resting heart rate at 60 beats per min,

kasabere Blender Account

Me and my friend have recently started this, do you know about how many calories this will burn for a female that weighs 215?

zoe1 Blender Account

How many calories will I burn for doing this workout? I am 5'7 and I weigh 169lbs.

laura203 Blender Account

I really enjoyed doing this routine this morning. I Have lost 23 lbs since December and still have another 20lbs to go! I am roughly about 207lbs now down from 230 Lbs and what i would like to know is how many calories, roughly does this exercise burn at 30 minutes session? is is still around the 200 cals mark or is it lower? Thanks for the video..

metalhead Blender Account

I normally do a combo of Low Impact and 5x5x5 Workouts which are rated higher difficult (2 and sometimes 3) but this one is still killing me...
I found out that the hardest one for me are the Stutter steps although I do abs workout. What can I do to make them easier in the beginning?
I am on my way to halve me, I am about 300 lbs (as a female), changed my nutrition.... now it comes to excercise...

ressa Blender Account

I starter edito 8 week program. May i know if all the cardio workout ( if not specified) need a cool down ? Thanks

putlutis35 Blender Account

Just wanted to ask is this workout for whole body or just some specific parts like legs arms or other? Thank you:)

walkerg Blender Account

The best way to find out is to do the workout and watch closely where you feel a burn or a stretch. Chances are those are the body parts you are actively working on.

mayarose0706 Blender Account

This workout is pretty good :) Thank you. Do you know the best workouts for belly fat loss? How long does it take to see a difference? Please and thank you xx

sxb997 Blender Account

I don't have any dungbells? Is there anything round the house I could use, like a can of beans?
Also, I used to be quite fit but I haven't exercise for over a year. My body has no muscle and I'm worried about starting to exercise again. I don't want to feel unfit.

bailey.baldassari Facebook Account

I am training for a 5k in June and I only have two and half weeks left and I want to lose some of that dreaded winter weight. Do you recommend any exercises that would prepare me for my 5k and blast the calories but still keep it off and keep up the stamina?

mikiela.dawson Facebook Account

How often should I do cardio and toning I've been doing cardio everyday at least 30minutes and toning every other day what would you recommend if my problem areas are my arms thighs and belly?

erika.warner1 Facebook Account

My arms are burning!

Wojciech Google Account

First for all sorry about my Emglish. Your movie has been just seen on another semishere - in Poland (EU). This is my 4th day using this exercise. After 8 min whole body preparation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjIgfSdJsDQ and then your exercises I can now do two series of your exercises.. (on first day barely 3/4 of first serie) :) After two series I'm so sweaty but each day I'm pushing it a little bit more..So on Monday I will able to do whole 3 series :) (I haven't do any exercise for the last 7 years so my condition is so poor)

rosanne.jordan Facebook Account

What dumbbell weights should be use in this

walkerg Blender Account

The ones that you personally feel comfortable with. This means you want to be using weights that are heavy enough to represent a challenge but light enough that you don't risk hurting yourself. In case of doubt, use a light dumbell at first, and if you feel that is too light, move to the next heavier one until you feel you have hit your zone.

Snow Google Account

If i do this everyday ( 3 complete round ) how long will it take to loss 10lbs?

Sharra Google Account

A while. Lol. Not only will your body get way too used to this, you need to incorporate strength training to increase your metabolic rate and build some lean muscle. Cardio alone won't do too much for you - especially the same cardio daily.

Twyfie Facebook Account

Just started the 8 week fat loss program and just wondered if you have any tips completing this program for shift workers?
I currently do 12 hour shifts alternating between days and nights and finding it hard to fit the sessions in.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
Thank you and love the web site and workouts, keep up the great work.

walkerg Blender Account

I just want to say that I am amazed at the number of uninformed questions on this page. People keep asking how much weight they will lose, how long it will take, which body parts will lose the most, etc. It is clear that people have no clue about how physical exercise works, and it is also clear that people don't read the pages. If they did, they would know for example that there is no such thing as targeted weight or fat loss.

People, please, don't just jump into an exercise routine feet first without even trying to understand what exercising is for and how it works. The information is so easy to find. In fact, much of what you need to know is right here on this website. Put on your glasses and read.

And to those who say things like they are afraid to exercise because they are afraid of feeling unfit, well, do you feel fit now? Obviously not if you want to start working out! Please, be logical! There is no free lunch, and you have to learn to work hard. If you are not willing to do that, then learn to accept your current body as it is and stop pretending that you are doing something about it.

It is just impossible for Daniel and Kelli to reply to all of those questions, and I find it ridiculous that after they have so generously provided these excellent and FREE videos, people want even more help from them, mostly of the irrelevant kind like where to find music to work out to. Next thing you know, somebody asks them to clean their pools, too. There is plenty of information on this site and all over the web. If you are too lazy to read up on it, then I guess you are too lazy to lose weight or get fit.

Sorry, this rant has been a long time coming. See your doctor and take some time to read up on it.

jmsouth5 Blender Account

agree with just about everything. Questions?? Google the crap outta them!

olga.mu.mu Facebook Account

OMG !!!!!!!!!! this was hard !!!!!!!!!!!!! if that was for begginers , than i am in biiiiiiiiiiiig big trouble !!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice workout u guys !!! :)

conniejory Blender Account

I agree -- they say this is for beginners, but I've been exercising regularly for quite some time and I get a good workout and sweat with this one. The nice this about FitnessBlender's workouts is you can alter them as needed. Do some of the exercises faster and with more intensity, or slower depending on your own personal situation.

basma.a.dawoud Facebook Account

Wow.... i was about to quit after round 2 but pushed my self and kept going .....wasnt easy but felt so amazing afterward and did 30 min eliptical today too.... :)

juni_d Blender Account

Hi..I have been trying a lot of cardios but I can't complete the full but since this is a low impact I will do this ^_^ but like will I be able to lose weight by doing this cardio every day ?? Will I be able to see results fast ?? And one more question is that should I do cardio first or other workouts first and then cardio..please please help me :( I really need your help

jmsouth5 Blender Account

Yeah WOW! Made this a little tougher holding 1lb wts when none asked for and moved a little faster. Killed 250 cals with this one! Thanks so much! I especially like the toe touches, feel it on the inner thigh.

irst ast Blender Account

is this exercise suitable only for women, or men can practice it too? how does this exercise shape ones body; which groups of muscles are toning during training?

Sharra Google Account

Anyone can do all of their videos, male or female. Cardio is great for both genders. This doesn't target any specific area, it's total body.

cristina.c.mira.3 Facebook Account

Thank you for this video. It's really great to workout after a long absence in exercising... I feel strengthened again.

jaydawg Blender Account

I am doing this workout as part of the 8-week fat loss program, round 1. I am not new to Fitness Blender and while this is not challenging, I am sticking with it, knowing you'll be kicking my butt later! My question is, is it OK to move the rest days around in the program? For example, I would rather have the Optional Cardio day and the Off day not be consecutive. I would like to have a rest day in the middle of the week, and an optional day at the end of the week. Will that undermine the effectiveness of what I'm doing? Thank you so much for all you do!

Sharra Google Account

I'm also doing the 8 week program and I can't find the time to workout Tuesdays and Thursdays so I make one of the two days my rest day and one my optional cardio. As long as you get the rest day(s) you need, I don't think it matters how you arrange your week.

pinkninja Blender Account

It's great to find such a manageable workout. After a long period of illness I am finding I can no longer get through my karate training sessions without having to take breaks, which is very frustrating. I have also gained a huge amount of weight! I tried this workout for the first time today. I had to take a few mini breaks but got to the end. I'm hoping that doing this routine and some of your other easier routines will help me to get my strength and fitness back as my health continues to improve. Thank you!

asia.l.allen Facebook Account

Just started the 8 week program, and I really worked up a sweat doing this. I know this workout is considered "easy", but I guess I'm really out of shape lol. The stutter step really did a number on me. I couldn't continue the stutter step all the way thru until round 3.

fitsree Blender Account

Hi ,
I have a strange question/issue here. I have been working out for about 5 years now, mainly Treadmill & Elliptical . So i have been an active girl with a 9 to 5 desk job. But the problem is that my monthly cycles have gone irregular because of this !! Now, i am trying to figure which exercise routine would best suit my situation ? I want to stop running on a treadmill/ elliptical and start one of these Fitness Blender workouts. Will this Low Impact Cardio workout help burn calories for someone who is not a beginner as such ?

cristina.candelo Facebook Account

I am doing the 8 week program and even doing 5 hours a week of classical ballet, I've realized in how bad shape I am, in terms of cardio hhehehe.
Great workout¡¡

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