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The Best Low Impact Cardio Workouts

Hardcore cardio doesn’t always have to take its toll on your knees, ankles, and hips.

While running is one of the best traditional cardio workouts, it can be difficult for longtime athletes to run or even jog like they once used to.

Even if athletes can still handle a high amount of “impact,” which in this case refers to pounding on the joints, for extended periods of time — whether it’s while running, playing sports, or even dancing — it’s sometimes best to give our bodies a break from the constant throttle.

So what about low impact workouts? Sometimes that can turn athletes off because they associate low impact with being low intensity. However, that’s not always the case — in fact, it’s rarely the case. 

There are many benefits of low impact workouts. Low impact workouts can be just as efficient, burn just as many calories, and improve athletic performance just the same, if not better, than high impact workouts like running.

So what are the best low impact cardio workouts? We’re glad you asked. Take a look at some of the low impact workouts you can do with The Real Runner™, the best high intensity cardio workout machine in the world, and keep reading for some other low impact cardio workout tips.

What Is A Low Impact Workout?

Before diving into some of the best low impact workouts, we should first understand what the term “low impact” actually means.

For most fitness enthusiasts, coaches, and trainers, a “low impact workout” is one in which at least one foot is in contact with the ground at all times. That means less pressure and shock on the joints, which can typically occur with activities like running, plyometric jumping, and a number of other sports and activities.

Go For A Walk

Walking doesn’t seem like the high intensity workout that most athletes crave, but it can be a simple, stress-free solution to get the blood flowing early in the morning. Taking a stroll outside or even on a treadmill burns calories all the same. If you’re looking to amp up the intensity on this low impact workout, you can always take a walk up a hill, carry light weights, or increase the incline on the treadmill.


Cycling has long been one of the most beneficial low impact workouts around. Most athletes grew up riding a bike, so it’s not all that difficult to pick back up again when searching for an efficient cardio workout. What’s more, cycling doesn’t place hardly any strain or stress on the joints, making it a great recovery workout as well.

There is no shortage of low impact cycling workouts out there, from interval training to hill climbs to sprints. All it takes is a positive mindset and a set of wheels.


Another low impact workout which doesn’t require a whole lot of training or equipment — other than a pool or a large body of water — is swimming.

When it comes to intensive cardio workouts, swimming is up there with the best of them.

This activity is a great way to improve lung function, work your shoulders and other muscles, and develop strength and endurance without damaging those precious joints.


Believe it or not, yoga can be a great workout. Consider trying out a hot yoga studio, or simply practicing from the comfort of your own home.

Yoga is so advantageous as a low impact workout because it has the ability to stretch and provide some much-needed attention to our muscles — whether it’s before or after a high intensity workout. Sure, yoga itself isn’t always very intensive, but some of the advanced practices have the ability to challenge your limits as an athlete and improve your performance overall.

Stair Climber

If you’re looking to amp up the intensity while still staying with a low impact workout, consider a stair climber. Climbing stairs, whether on a machine or au natural, can effectively burn calories and improve cardiovascular health just like any other exercise.

Try going at intervals and at a high pace — you’ll soon find that this low impact workout is no joke.


If you have access to a canoe and a body of water, then this is a low impact workout that you can practice while exploring nature in all its glory.

However, many people don’t have that kind of access — and that’s OK! There are rowing machines galore at the gym, or you can even purchase one of your own to add to your home workout equipment.

Rowing is one of the best low impact workouts which builds strength and endurance for your arms, back, core, legs, and more.

The Real Runner™

Those exercises are all well and good — but what is the best low impact workout?

There’s only one answer that comes to mind: The Real Runner™. Our high intensity, low impact cardio workout machine simulates the movement and feel of a runner’s stride without the highly stressful pounding on the knees and other joints.

The Real Runner™ workouts have been known to help athletes of all shapes, sizes, and levels to improve performance, increase stride length, maximize speed, build strength, and enhance endurance. Through high intensity interval training, isokinetic resistance, and full range of motion, The Real Runner™ serves as an explosive low impact workout with a variety of athletic applications.

Whether you’re looking to improve cardio, develop core strength, train for long distance runs, or evolve as an athlete, The Real Runner™ can take you there.

Learn more about our low impact workout machine and get yours today.