Bad joints? 6 Low Impact Exercises To Get You Started

low impact exercises

Reviewed by: Tim Pittorino, BHSC

I don’t let 5 crappy minutes at the start of my day ruin the rest of it – and this is the attitude I carry across into my workout routine. One bad joint won’t bring me down! We all suffer from bad joints from time to time (or perhaps all the time), but we can’t let them ruin our health and fitness journeys.  So, I’ve got 6 easy, effective and low impact exercises to help you kick those bad joints into gear and get your goals back on track.


Knees are the most common joint that stops us from exercising at our best. Bad knees can stop us from running and jumping. HOWEVER, there are so many more exercises that burn just as many calories and (don’t tell any runners) are way more fun!

Here are my top 3:

  1. Boxing This is possibly the most effective upper body cardio workout. Embrace your inner Rocky with a set of MB Active boxing gloves and mitts, a punching bag or a good shadowboxing session to get your sweat on and your heart rate up. Just make sure you include plenty of ducking and weaving.
  2. Water Running Run with a floatation belt in deep water for zero impact, or in shallow water for minimal. This burns far more calories than running on land – getting you fitter, faster!
  3. Low Impact Workouts 12WBT provides a variety of low and no impact workouts. Just head to our ‘Express Workouts’ under the ‘Fitness’ tab, search ‘low impact’ and voila! You’ll have pages of low impact routines to choose from, tailored to suit your preferences and needs.

Our lower back is the next most common joint that can suffer from impact. But many cases of bad back can be improved upon with the following flexibility-focused formula. 

Flexibility in our lower back relieves tension and results in less compression on our spine. Flexibility is improved by stretching the short and tight muscles, plus increasing stability in our pelvic floor and core muscles. Working on building strong and flexible butt muscles will both support our lower back and prevent future back pain. The 12WBT Bad Back Preventer workout covers all 3 of these elements – Stretching, Stabilising and Strengthening. These low impact exercises will not only work around a bad back but quite possibly cure it.

Flexibility aside, here are 3 more fantastic exercises that will minimise the impact on your lower back:

  1. Walking In general, walking is a great workout for bad backs. It results in minimal impact on the spine, is great for circulation and is also a very effective way to lose weight, and excessive weight – which is often a contributor to back pain.
  2. Core work Working on your entire core will strengthen your abs, glutes, pelvic floor and back muscles. When these muscles are all strong and working hard together, they take the impact off your spine and hip joints. You’ll feel that all forms of exercise become more comfortable and more efficient.
  3. Bodyweight exercises Squats, lunges, push-ups, dips and planks are all low impact exercises that only require your body weight and a small space. When executed with good form, they all burn loads of calories, get you stronger and leaner, and if done in a circuit, will even improve your cardiovascular fitness.

I recommend trying these 6 low-impact workout ideas one at a time to see which ones work best for you. Happy exercising!

Tim Pittorino, BHSC
Tim has been working in the Fitness Industry for over 25 years as Personal trainer, holistic health coach as well as an Australian strength & conditioning coach. Tim has a degree in Health Science and is currently completing a Masters in Human Nutrition. After studying all things physiological for 20 years Tim now enjoys branching out into the other areas of wellness including mental health and emotional resilience. Tim’s lifetime goal is to see just how good the human body can feel, he loves to continually experiment with tried and proven methods as well as trying all the cool new findings.

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