Skip Nav

Best Low-Impact Cardio Workout to Prevent Joint Pain

Bookmark This Low-Impact Cardio Workout for When Your Joints Need a Break

Two women doing gymnastics at home
Good news for your joints: a virtual HIIT class nearly isn't the only way to get in a cardio workout at home.

Whether your knees and ankles need a break from the consistent jumping, or you want to spare your downstairs neighbor from yet another set of burpees, this simple (but super effective!) low-impact cardio workout is your solution.

"A low-impact cardio workout may not burn as many calories as a high-impact workout in the same allotted time, however it may save your joints in the future so you can continue to work out," Melissa Chisholm, an NASM-certified personal trainer, explains.

"As with anything, consistency is key, and adding more low-impact workouts to your routine will allow you to stay consistent."

Cycle through this workout curated by Chisholm below — your body will feel the physical challenge in the best possible way.


5 Walk-Out to Hip-Openers

  • Stand tall, inhale arms overhead, and exhale to fold over.
  • Walk out to a high plank — bring the right foot to the outside of the right hand.
  • Rotate torso and bring the right hand up toward the ceiling. Hold for three breaths. Place the hand down, and return the foot back to a plank
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • Step the foot back to plank, and push back into a Downward Dog. Pedal out the feet.
  • Walk hands back to the feet. Slowly roll up to standing and inhale the arms overhead.
  • This completes one rep. Repeat five times.

10 Cat-Cows
10 Squats
10 Alternating Forward Lunges
10 Alternating Reverse Lunges


Complete all six exercises in order. Repeat for three rounds.

Chisholm suggests setting a timer while completing round one: try to meet or beat your time during the second and third rounds, all while maintaining good form.

Walk-Out to Push-Ups:

  • Start standing folded over and walk hands out to a tall plank.
  • Bend elbows to lower down and push back up to a tall plank position.
  • Walk hands back to feet and roll up to stand.
  • That completes one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.

Squat + Calf Raise:

  • Standing with your feet about hips-distance apart.
  • Lower hips back as though you are sitting into a chair.
  • Come up to stand, lift onto toes, and then lower heels down.
  • That is one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.

Plank Walk:

  • Start in an extended arm plank — with feet wide to create a solid foundation.
  • Lower onto right elbow/forearm, lower onto left elbow/forearm, and then press back up to a tall plank — replacing your right elbow with your right hand, and then your left hand replacing your left elbow.
  • That is one rep. Repeat for 10 reps total — five leading with the right and five leading with the left.

Lateral Lunge to Balance:

  • Starting from a standing position, T your arms out, or lift them out to the side.
  • Step your right leg out wide so that it is as wide as your right hand — but not as wide if you are very tight.
  • Sit back on your right side for a single-sided squat — the left foot remains planted on the ground and left leg remains straight.
  • Push up out of your right foot to come back to balance on your left leg, while lifting the right knee to hip height.
  • Balance for one breath and step back out to the right for 10 reps.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Extended Arm Plank to Bear Plank:

  • Start in an extended arm plank, legs long.
  • Step the right foot in so that your knee is under your right hip, and step left foot in so that your knee is under your hip.
  • Hover knees about 1-2 inches off the ground.
  • Step back to plank leading with the right leg, and then the left.
  • Repeat this for 20 reps total — 10 leading with the right leg and 10 leading with the left leg.

Alternating Reverse Lunge to Arms Overhead:

  • Start standing with both arms straight up overhead so your biceps are by your ears and fingertips up to the ceiling.
  • Step back with the right leg. Lower right knee to hover an inch or so off the ground.
  • As you step back into your lunge, swing arms back behind you.
  • Step up to stand and swing arms up to the starting position.
  • Alternate legs for 20 reps total — 10 each leg.

Click here for more health and wellness stories, tips, and news.

Image Source: Getty Images / Westend61
Full-Body, No-Equipment Exercises For Weight Loss
Does Sweating Mean You're Working Hard During a Workout?
10-Minute Morning Yoga Sequence For Positivity
Fitness Tips | How to do Butterfly Stretches
How Much Water Should I Drink When It Is Hot?
15-Minute Interval Walking Workout For Low-Impact Cardio
Bodyweight Exercises to Build Muscle
Best Exercises for Tight Shoulders, Neck, and Back
Simple Ways to Ease Tendonitis Pain at Home
Core Exercises For Better Balance While Paddleboarding
If Knee Push-Ups Hurt, Give Elevated Push-Ups a Try Instead
At-Home Exercises | 30-Minute Coffee Table Workout
Latest Fitness