Low-Impact Cardio Challenge - Go Easy on Your Joints

This low-impact, high-intensity workout is for the intermediate/advanced exerciser looking for a workout that's tough on the heart, but easy on the joints. The key to making this workout challenging is to do the exercises as fast as you can while keeping good form. Some exercises include a kettlebell. If you've never tried kettlebells, familiarize yourself with the basics, use a light kettlebell or use a dumbbell.

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any medical injuries, illnesses or conditions.

Equipment Needed

A light and medium kettlebell or dumbbells, a medicine ball and an exercise mat

How To

  • Complete each exercise as shown, moving as quickly as you can while keeping good form
  • Rest between exercises if necessary, but try to keep the rests short
  • Skip any exercise that causes pain or discomfort

1
Warm Up - Step Touches

Side to side jumping lunge
Ben Goldstein

Warm up for 2 or more minutes with light cardio, such as step touches or side touches(as shown). Really use your arms to get your heart rate going. More »

2
Warm Up - Side Lunge with Windmill Arms

Windmills
Ben Goldstein

Stand with legs wide, arms straight out to the sides and parallel to the floor.  Bend the right knee into a side lunge and bring the left arm down towards the foot.  Repeat on the other side, lunging from side to side and bringing opposite arm towards foot.  The faster you go and the lower you lunge, the harder it is.  Repeat for 1 minute. More »

3
Warm Up - Knee Lifts with Med Ball

Knee Lifts with a Medicine Ball
Ben Goldstein

Hold a light medicine ball or weight straight up overhead.  Lift the right knee up to waist level while bringing the arms down, touching the weight to the knee.  Return to start and repeat on the left side.  Alternate knees and repeat for 1 minute. More »

4
Bear Crawls

Bear crawl
Ben Goldstein

Squat down to the floor and walk your hands out until you're in a plank position. Do a pushup on the knees or toes and then walk the hands back to a squat and stand up. *Optional:  Add a jump at the end for more intensity.  Repeat for 60 seconds. More »

5
Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell swing
Ben Goldstein

Hold a kettlebell in both hands with legs hip-width apart. Squat, taking the weight between the legs, while keeping the back straight.  At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back and thrust up through the hips to bring the weight up to chest level.  Repeat for 60 seconds. More »

6
Front Kick with Plank

front kick
Ben Goldstein

Kick with right foot and then swing the right leg back to the floor, taking your hands to the floor.  Take the left foot next to the right into a plank, hold briefly and then step the left leg forward again.  Stand up, kicking with your right foot again and step back into your plank.  Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

Take a minute to rest and then move on.  More »

7
Kettlebell Single Arm Overhead Swing

single arm kettlebell swing
Ben Goldstein

Squat and swing a kettlebell down between the knees.  Thrust the hips forward, using the power of your lower body to swing the kettlebell overhead, arm straight.  Swing the weight back down and repeat for 30 seconds before switching sides. More »

8
Squat with Med Ball Toss

Medicine Ball Squat, Dribble and Toss
Ben Goldstein

Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball.   Squat as low as you can (knees behind toes and abs contracted) and bounce the ball to the floor.  If it doesn't bounce, just touch the ball to the floor.  Press through the heels to press back up while tossing the weight up and overhead.  Repeat for 60 seconds. More »

9
Kettlebell Lateral Step Swing

standing kettlebell curl
Ben Goldstein

Hold a ketllebell in both hands with legs hip-width apart and step to the left into a squat, swinging the weight between the legs.   Use the power of the hips to swing the weight to shoulder level as you step the right foot next to the left. Step to the left again and squat, swinging the weight between the legs.  Swing the weight all the way overhead as you step the feet together.   Repeat the series to the right, alternating sides for  60 seconds.

Take a minute to rest and then move on. More »

10
Rear Lunge with Med Ball Touch

Medicine Ball Lunge with Toe Touches
Ben Goldstein

Hold a medicine ball overhead and step back into a straight leg lunge with the right leg.  Swing the leg up into a kick while touching the toe with the medicine ball.  Repeat for 30 seconds on each side. More »

11
Alternating Kettlebell Swings

Hold a kettlebell in the right hand, feet hip-width apart.  Squat down and swing the weight down and back between the knees, keeping the torso upright and the abs braced.  Thrust the hips up as you swing the kettlebell to shoulder level. At the top of the movement, switch hands, grabbing the kettlebell with the left hand.  Continue swinging and exchanging the weight from one hand to the other for 60 seconds.

Rest:  March in place for 15-30 seconds More »

12
Squat Circle Medicine Ball

Medicine Ball Circle Squat
Ben Goldstein


Stand holding a medicine ball near the right hip.  Step out with the left leg into a squat as you circle the ball all the way around until it's next to the right hip again.  Step back, circling the ball back and repeat for 30 seconds on each side. More »

13
Kettlebell Swings

Hold a kettlebell in both hands with legs hip-width apart. Squat, taking the weight between the legs, while keeping the back straight.  At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back and thrust up through the hips to bring the weight up to chest level.  Repeat for 60 seconds.

 Rest:  March in place to cool down for 3-5 minutes More »

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