High and Low Impact Workouts: What Kind of Schedule is Best?

March 3, 2024

When you’re scrolling through social media or reading fitness magazines or blogs, you’ll often come across the terms high-impact exercise and low-impact exercise. Sometimes, one is villainized over the other, but for most people, there’s a way to incorporate both into your workout split safely. Let’s talk about it!

Understanding High and Low-Impact Workouts

First things first, what do we mean by high-impact and low-impact workouts?

High-impact exercises typically involve activities where both feet leave the ground simultaneously, exerting significant force on the joints upon landing. Examples include running, jumping, HIIT, and plyometrics. 

On the other hand, low-impact exercises are gentler on the joints, with at least one foot remaining in contact with the ground at all times. These may include walking, light weight lifting, pilates, barre, swimming, cycling, and yoga.

The Case for High-Impact Workouts

High-impact workouts are fantastic for: 

  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Building bone density
  • Boosting calorie burn 

They often provide a potent full-body workout in a shorter time, making them ideal for those with busy schedules. Additionally, high-impact exercises can enhance agility, coordination, and explosiveness. These can benefit athletes and individuals looking to improve their athletic performance.

The Benefits of Low-Impact Workouts

While high-impact exercises offer undeniable benefits, low-impact workouts also have their place in a well-rounded fitness routine. Don’t write them off or assume they won’t get you results!

Importantly, low-impact exercises are gentler on the joints. As such, they’re more suitable for those with joint pain, arthritis, or people recovering from injuries. They effectively improve cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and flexibility without putting unnecessary stress on your body. You can easily modify low-impact activities to accommodate different fitness levels, ages, and abilities. As such, they’re considered more accessible to many individuals.

Finding Balance in Your Workout Split

So, which is better: high-impact or low-impact workouts? The truth is, both have their advantages. And the key is… finding the right balance that works for you!

Incorporating a mix of high-impact and low-impact exercises into your workout split can help you reap both benefits while minimizing the risk of overuse injuries.

Consider alternating between high-impact and low-impact days to give your body time to recover and adapt. For example, you might engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or running one day, followed by a yoga session or swimming the next. Listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity and frequency accordingly.

Consulting with a Fitness Professional

Before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health concerns or injuries, consult a fitness professional like the personal trainers at Xtend Fitness. We will provide personalized guidance and recommendations tailored to your personal needs and fitness goals, ensuring a safe and effective fitness journey.

Conclusion: Striking the Right Balance

So, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to high and low-impact workouts. Both types of exercises offer unique benefits, and finding a balance that works for your body and fitness goals is the way to go. 

By incorporating a mix of high-impact and low-impact activities into your workout split and listening to your body’s signals, you can achieve optimal fitness while minimizing the risk of injury. 

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