This 7 minute bodyweight workout is great for those who want to tax all of the muscles in their body in minimal time, with minimal jarring impact on the joints.
High intensity interval training tends to be very high impact; this routine is not. HIIT workouts use moves that tax your body to the extent that you would not be able to maintain that level of exertion for any extended period of time. These exercises are definitely not as cardiovascular challenging as the ones that you will find in our other HIIT workout videos, but this is still a great option for beginners, those who need low impact exercises while recovering from injuries, and those who want to challenge their muscles in a different way than normal on a “recovery” day between tougher workouts.
There are just 2 exercises in this routine and you wont need any equipment at all.
20 Seconds Active; 10 Seconds Rest x 2 (per side of the body)
Low Impact Exercises
Squat Circles + Rows
Stand with feet together, bend your knees and stick your butt out behind you to lower into a ski squat. Maintain this static squat position while you lift one foot from its position as a stabilizer, and use it to draw a circle around that side of your body. The entire time, have your arms pulling & pushing in an above-the-head Row motion. Once your foot is back in the starting position, repeat on the opposite foot. Don’t let up from the squat position until the active interval is over (unless you start to fatigue and form is jeopardized). Deltoids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, your entire core, butt and thighs all get a good working over with this move.
Single Leg Deadlifts + Arm Circles
Balance on one leg and hinge at the hip joint with a flat back to lower into a Single Leg Deadlift. All the while, have your arms extended straight out at the shoulder joint, doing small arm circles. The motion looks a little goofy but it’s incredibly effective at increasing balance and toning the thighs, glutes, abs and lower back, shoulders and arms.
In order to get the most benefit from this workout, make sure that your motions are extremely deliberate. For example, with the rowing motion in the first exercise, focus on working against yourself, providing resistance with your own body.
You can also increase the difficultly level, intensity, and caloric burn of this routine by holding onto weights while you do the exercises. It would not take much weight to significantly increase the challenge of these exercises.
We estimate that this routine can burn 5-7 calories a minute. This is not an incredibly high rate of expenditure but it is also great at toning and building lean muscle. If you are looking for a higher calorie burn via workouts for bad knees, you could definitely pair this video with some of our low impact cardio workouts that are meant to be easy on those joints. You could also repeat this workout more than once – sequentially or at separate times during the day – in order to see better results, faster.
As a side note for those of you who are looking to avoid high impact workouts or who are looking to stay lean while temporarily unable to do more intense workouts due to injuries, another great low impact option is always strength training. Strength training burns calories while you are doing it, but even better, it also builds lean muscle that will help you to burn calories at a higher rate, even while you are not working out. Think of muscle building routines as an investment for a faster metabolism.