5 Low-Impact Exercises for Sore Joints


If you’re working full-pelt in your sessions, your joints may be feeling swollen and sore.

Perhaps you’ve decided to throw in the towel altogether, and if you’re in that much pain, who can blame you?

Ironically, stopping altogether can make the condition feel worse as strength dissipates, fitness levels decrease and the impact of no exercise on the metabolism can start things moving in an unhelpful direction.

Here are 5 low-impact exercises to keep those joints happy while burning calories:

1. Swimming/aqua aerobics

You don’t need to be a champion athlete to do this. Any form of aqua movement is superb for getting your heart rate up, with zero impact on the joints.

Try Aqua Classes if you feel that the stamina for simple swimming is not there to begin with. The idea is to have fun!

Also read: Can’t Do Push Ups? Here’s Why

2. Aerobic activity

Cycling: An awesome aerobic activity that is friendly on the joints. It gradually strengthens the knees with the correct set up and a sensible session duration (overdoing this is not advised). With lower back issues, a recumbent bike offers more comfort.

Rowing: A great way to hit your entire body with a low-impact workout and strengthen your back muscles, too.

Elliptical Trainer: There’s no impact at all on your joints when using this piece of equipment. It’s popular for those who like the feeling of running, but in a smooth motion.

Boxing: A excellent upper body hit that’s great for people who need to minimise lower body movement.

Walking: Simple and effective – it’s a nice opportunity to focus on breathing, with mental clarity a bonus!

3. Yoga/Pilates

Yoga is a great low-impact way to build strength and flexibility, while working on breathing and mindfulness.

4. TRX

Suspension training or TRX (total body resistance exercise ) is a cool way to get your entire body involved with exercises that both strengthen muscles and joints, and work on assisting balance.

5. Strength training

Resistance training is an amazing way to focus on low-impact work. There are so many helpful exercises that can be done for those with considerations around joints.

Some examples of exercises are:

  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Clams
  • Hip raises
  • Low-impact burpee

Remember to seek advice from your healthcare professional before embarking on an exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing injuries or conditions. They will give you a recommendation as to which exercises to avoid, and which ones you can perform safely.

Louise McDonald, Cert III & Cert IV Fitness
Louise has been a Trainer and Wellness Coach for almost 20 years and is one of our experienced Support Crew members in Fitness, as our Lean and Strong Captain! Louise has worked passionately with all levels of fitness over the years across both Australia and the UK, where she has specialised in competition training with athletes for the last decade. She has worked closely with top level competitors and even our own 12WBT peeps to bring home a National Trophy! She lives, breathes, eats and sleeps weight training and is super passionate about teaching others how to reach their full potential.

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