5 Best Low-Impact Exercise Equipment Ideas
Apr 03, 2022
Are you hesitant to start exercising because you think it will be too hard on your body, but the words “low impact” automatically make you think you’ll get a less-effective workout? Think again. Compared to high-impact movements like jumping, running, skipping or anything that requires your joints to take a pounding, low-impact exercises simply require less force or stress on your body to perform a certain movement (think walking or pedaling).
Actually, choosing a low-impact workout regimen is a smart move if limited mobility or the potential for injury are a concern for you. Incorporating a low-impact workout means you are listening to your body while reaping the important benefits of daily exercise. Almost any move can be modified to a lower-impact version, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be working and sweating just as hard with the right speed or resistance.
Even better, you can still use the same standard fitness equipment you normally see in the gym or use at home. We’ve listed our top five most effective fitness machines and equipment pieces that allow you to maximize the results in your fitness journey while practicing safety and self-care.
Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise
Again, “low impact” does not equate to “less than.” In fact, because it’s easier on your body, it may make sticking to your fitness goals easier. Here are other big impacts a low-impact approach can make:
Gentler on Joints
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit, especially as you get older. For those with restrictions like joint pain, injury or stiffness, low-impact exercises and exercise equipment allows you to enjoy all the benefits of exercise while minimizing the risk of joint pain. You will probably find yourself moving more in your daily workout and maintaining a workout regimen longer throughout your life.
While you can certainly add high-impact moves into your program, strength training in its purest form is very low impact. As long as the exercise keeps your body stationary — either on your feet, on your back or seated — it’s going to be easier on your joints and allow you to build muscle while doing so. If you need to modify even more, you can take advantage of resistance bands and other pieces of equipment that are even kinder to your body, but still deliver the burn.
Improves Mobility and Flexibility
Hip mobility and glute-strengthening exercises are examples of how you can still move your body in all directions without putting force on your joints. Low-impact exercises like yoga can also promote blood flow and ease soreness, yet elevate your heart rate and build strength. And while many exercisers routinely skip stretching before and after a workout, it’s actually the most low-impact and important way to increase mobility and stave off injury.
However you choose to move your body — whether it’s with low- or high-impact movement — the psychological benefits you reap are just as plentiful as the physiological ones. The endorphins that fire off after a good sweat session almost always help the tensions of the day fade away. But when you are overly stressed or experiencing heightened physical tension, low-impact workouts are literal stress relievers for the body, helping to keep your mood in check while also keeping movements more controlled.
Low-Impact Equipment That Still Packs a Punch
Now that you understand just how effective low-impact exercise can be, we’re here to provide five exercise machines that give you more bang for your exercise buck while keeping it low-key. What’s more, they’re commonly found in most gyms or studios — plus they are relatively affordable workout pieces you can add to your home gym or extra room. Give one or all of them a try!
This is an incredibly popular low-impact exercise machine because it allows you to replicate the feelings and motion of running with no impact to your knees. It offers a comfortable yet aerobic workout that can be tailored for speed and resistance. Many ellipticals also feature full-motion handlebars that engage the upper body and drive up the calorie burn — another advantage over hitting the hard pavement!
Looking to lower the impact even more? Then have a seat. A seated elliptical machine takes the pressure off not only your knees, but also your back and ankles, but you still get the cardio benefits of a standing elliptical. It’s ideal if you have limited mobility but don’t want to limit your exercise goals. Bonus: You can go hands-free and multitask your workout with a book, tablet or smartphone as you pedal away.
Treadmills can certainly be the opposite of low impact if you choose to use it for running or speed drills. However, if you are someone who prefers a walking workout, then a treadmill is an excellent low-impact option. Not only can you adjust speed, but you can also increase incline for a muscle-activating lower-body burn. If you prefer walking outdoors, a treadmill is also a lifesaver on rainy days — no more excuses to skip your workout.
If you are looking to target biceps, lats, quads, glutes, and calves all at once — all while sitting and keeping it low impact — a rowing machine should be your go-to. This machine delivers a full-body workout in less time and without joint impact, improving not just overall strength but cardiovascular fitness and mobility as well (the fitness trifecta!).
You know how quickly your heart rate can elevate when you climb a set of stairs. Get those heart-pumping, high-intensity results with less impact to your joints by adding a step or climbing machine to your home gym. You’ll quickly discover how working your larger leg muscles for even 30 minutes a day in this way will take your sweat session to the next level.
Shop Fitness Equipment with Acima
If you want these equipment pieces in your home but need shopping options that will have a low impact on your cash flow, allow Acima’s lease-to-own solutions* to spot you on that front. Find a store near you to take advantage of our easy alternative to financing! We’ll help you work out a flexible payment schedule you can afford without using credit*, so you can keep your budget (and body) in great shape, safely.