Skip to main content
Acima Leasing Logo

What is the Best Low-Impact Exercise Equipment?

Apr 14, 2022

“Low-impact” gear refers to equipment that has a low impact on your body, meaning it’s gentle and won’t put a lot of stress on your joints. That can be important if you have health issues, or if you’re just getting started with exercising. Low-impact equipment can also be helpful as you get older and your body becomes more susceptible to injury.

Types of Equipment That Are Best for Low-Impact Exercise

Do you want to stay healthy and fit without giving your joints a pounding? If so, there are a number of low-impact exercises that can be done in your own home or at a gym. What's more, these types of exercises have been shown to help with weight loss and improve heart health. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common and effective low-impact exercise equipment. Read on, and see if any of these options sound like a good fit for your needs and lifestyle.

Stationary Bikes

Stationary bikes can be a great way to get in some low-impact cardio without putting too much strain on your joints. A stationary bike can be an exceptionally good option for runners who are worried about knee pain, as biking puts less strain on the leg joints than running.

Elliptical Machines

Elliptical machines provide a great workout for both the upper and lower body, and they can be adjusted to be as low-impact or high-impact as you want. These machines are also relatively easy to use, making them a good option for beginners.

Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes can be a great way to get in some low-impact cardio without putting too much strain on your joints. These bikes tend to be easier on the back and knees — gentler, even, than a traditional stationary bike — making them a good choice for those with joint pain.


Treadmills will give you a great cardio workout, but they can be tough on your joints — though not as tough as running on a concrete sidewalk. If you’re looking for a lower-impact option, try an elliptical machine or stair climber instead.


Rowing machines provide a great full-body workout, but they can also be tough on your joints. If you’re looking for a lower-impact option, look into purchasing a recumbent bike or elliptical machine instead.

Stair Climbers

Stair climbers are a great way to get in high-intensity cardio without putting too much strain on your joints. These machines can be tough to use at first, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice.

Benefits of Low-Impact Exercising

There are a lot of benefits to low-impact exercise. One great aspect is the flexibility. Here are a few more benefits:

Reduces Risk of Injury

One of the main benefits of low-impact exercise is that it reduces your risk of injury. This is because these types of exercises typically put less strain on your joints, muscles and ligaments. As a result, you’re less likely to injure yourself while participating in low-impact activities than you are while participating in high-impact activities.

Great for Joints

Another benefit of low-impact exercise is that it’s great for your body. This type of exercise puts less stress on your joints, which obviously will help to reduce the risk of joint pain or injury. Additionally, low-impact exercise can increase joint flexibility and range of motion.

Improves Heart Health

Low-impact exercise is also great for your heart health, helping to increase your cardiovascular endurance and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, low-impact exercise can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Helps You Lose Weight

Low-impact exercise is a great way to burn calories without putting too much strain on your body. As a result, you’ll be able to lose weight without injuring yourself or causing excessive pain.

Reduces Stress Levels

Low-impact exercise can also help to reduce stress by releasing endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. As a result, you’ll feel less stressed after a session of low-impact exercise.

How to Choose the Right Type of Equipment for Your Needs

Now that you know more about low-impact exercise and the different types of equipment available, you may be wondering how to choose the right option for your needs. 

One important factor to consider is your fitness goals. If you're looking to lose weight, you'll want to choose equipment that helps you burn calories. On the other hand, if you're just looking to improve your overall health, any type of low-impact equipment will do. You should also consider your physical abilities and limitations. If you have a bad knee, for example, you'll want to choose an exercise that doesn't require too much impact on that joint. The best way to figure out what's right for you is to try out a few different options and see what you like best.

Tips on Low-Impact Exercises

If you're just starting out with low-impact exercises, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your workout:

  • Start slowly. If you're not used to being active, start with short workouts and gradually add time as you become more comfortable.

  • Warm up and cool down properly. This will help reduce your risk of injury and make your workouts more effective.

  • Be consistent. The more consistently you exercise, the more results you'll see.

  • Have fun! If you choose an activity that you enjoy, you're more likely to stick with it.

Alternatives to Low-Impact Exercise Equipment

If you don't have access to low-impact exercise equipment, but you’d still like to exercise in a low-impact way, there are plenty of other options available. You can try:

  • Walking

  • Swimming

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Tai Chi

Remember, the best exercise is the one you'll actually do, so find something that you enjoy and stick with it.

How Can Acima Help?

Acima can help you get low-impact equipment to start your exercise routine. With our flexible payment options*, you can get the equipment you need without using credit. Additionally, we offer a variety of payment options so that you can be in control of your finances. Get started today, and see how Acima can help you reach your fitness goals.

Common Questions About Low-Impact Exercising

What machines are good for bad knees?

If you have bad knees, elliptical machines and recumbent bikes are great options. These machines put very little stress on the joints, which can help reduce pain and swelling.

Is a bike or treadmill better for bad knees?

If you have severe joint problems, a bike may be better fit for you. This is because bikes allow you to control the amount of impact on your joints, whereas treadmills can put more stress on the knees.

How can I tone my legs if I have bad knees?

If you have bad knees, you can tone your legs with exercises like leg raises, bridges and mini-trampoline workouts. These exercises will help strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, which can reduce pain and swelling.

What exercises should I avoid if I have bad knees?

You should avoid exercises that put a lot of stress on the joints, such as running, jumping and squats. These exercises can make your pain worse and lead to further damage.