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What is a No Impact Workout?

Updated on February 26, 2013

No impact exercise is exercise that does not require weight bearing or any type of jarring activity to the bones and joints like running or aerobics. It provides many health benefits, and there are many different exercises that are no impact.

This type of exercise is particularly helpful to those with painful hip and knee joints as usually physical activity can cause increased discomfort. No impact exercise is also helpful for those are are mostly inactive or obese and can be used to improve cardiac status before transitioning to low or moderate impact exercises.

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Health Benefits of No Impact Exercise

Although no impact exercise is easier on the body, the health benefits this type of exercise provide mirror those of low, moderate and high impact exercises. A no impact workout also provides a method of exercising for those who are obese, pregnant or have joint or mobility problems. Some of the benefits of no impact exercise are:

  • improved cardiovascular health;
  • increased energy levels;
  • mood elevation;
  • improved muscle tone;
  • increased strength;
  • increased energy.

Demonstration of No Impact Exercise

Is No Impact Exercise Right for You?

The best thing about no impact exercise is that it can be done by anyone. While it is usually considered the best means of exercise for those with arthritis and obesity, even those in superior physical condition can benefit from this a no impact workout. Consider incorporating this type of exercise into your routine if you are:

  • recovering from surgery or illness;
  • a pregnant woman;
  • mostly inactive;
  • obese;
  • elderly.

Some medical conditions that can be helped by a low impact workout include:

  • depression;
  • arthritis;
  • diabetic neuropathy;
  • generalized weakness and fatigue.

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Different Types of No Impact Exercises

Swimming is probably the most well known no impact exercise. This activity provides a buoyancy and allows exercise that has no impact on the bones and joints. The water also offers resistance which strengthens and develops muscles.

Yoga and Pilates are no impact exercises that focus on muscle flexibility. These exercises are slow and graceful and also help to reduce stress. Yoga and pilates require minimal if any equipment and can be done in classes at a gym or privately in your own home.

Strength Training can be done using weights, resistance bands or the resistance of your own body weight. Strength training is commonly practiced by bodybuilders and weightlifters and includes exercises like abdominal crunches, leg raises and bicep curls. This type of exercise also increases bone density.

Cycling is a great no impact workout that can be done either indoors or out. Cycling strengthens the leg muscles as well as the cardiovascular system. Workouts are self paced and can be as intense as they can be gentle.

Rowing provides a great cardiovascular workout while exercising multiple muscle groups. A seated activity, rowing fits the bill as a no impact exercise. It can be performed indoors on a rowing machine or on the water in a boat.


No impact workouts provide an excellent means of exercise for many people. Whether young or old, slim or obese, healthy or recovering from an injury, no impact exercise is a safe way to exercise. With all of the benefits of more vigorous exercise, a no impact workout is a great alternative method of getting physically fit.


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    • kansasyarn profile image

      Teresa Sanderson 4 years ago from Rural Midwest

      I have been doing a no impact workout 5 days weekly for the past several weeks. I am enjoying it! I get the same energy and mood elevation that I do from other workouts! Thanks so much for your comments!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Sadly, exercise and I haven't exactly gone hand in hand these past few years. For me, it tends to mean casting my fishing rod or walking to the pub instead of getting a taxi. I have never heard the phrase no impact exercise before but it makes perfect sense. It would certainly be ideal for me as both my knees are a bit suspect due to past injuires. I am going to try to let this Hub inspire me to take some proper exercise of the ruight kind from now on!

    • kansasyarn profile image

      Teresa Sanderson 4 years ago from Rural Midwest

      Thanks for the read and your kind comments!

    • slappywalker profile image

      Kieron Walker 4 years ago from Saratoga Springs, NY

      I used to be a big runner, but I was always wary of the stress I was putting on my joints. It's good to see that there are quite a few alternatives available. I really want to start swimming, but my freestyle stroke would look pathetic.