Family Health

5 Low-Impact HIIT Exercises To Get Your Heart Pumping

Apr 20, 2017

I'm sure you’ve heard me say it before, but high-impact workouts are NOT one size fits all. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who cannot partake in jumping, running or quick changes in direction. Before I had my daughter, Eden, and before I decided to see a physiotherapist about my ankle, I had ZERO idea that these activities would be an issue for me. Let's rewind a few years to before I got pregnant, sitting in my physiotherapist's office, listening to what he had to say — I was in denial that there was something wrong, so I tried to carry on as normal.

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My issues started when I was 10. It was the day before my school's sports day and I was just sitting minding my own business when a young boy (probably showing off) came up and pushed me off my stool. I fell and sprained my ankle really badly, so much so I couldn’t walk and needed crutches for a week. I was devastated as I was really looking forward to participating in my first high school sports day. That was the beginning of the end for my poor ankle and high-impact activities. Although my ankle is now fixed — I was cleared by my physiotherapist to get back to normal — the result of having a child is limiting my abilities in the form of a pelvic organ prolapse.

Ok, so I know this is my story, but I’m sure many of you can relate to some form of setback (and this includes childbirth) that is limiting our abilities. Everyone has their own level of fitness and if high-impact doesn't feel right then STOP. But what can you do instead? Luckily for you this post is going to give you my top five low-impact exercises that will get your heart rate up. Low-impact activities doesn't mean low intensity — you can still get your sweat on with these effective exercises.

To structure a HIIT (hight-intensity interval training) workout all you need to do is pick a few exercises, four to five will do. The best exercises use your WHOLE body; you can add weight or just use your body weight. Pick your time interval, like 20 seconds activity with 10 seconds rest, or 60 seconds activity with 30 seconds rest. If you are just starting out with HIIT workouts, try setting the time lower and work your way up to longer intervals. The key is to work as hard as you can within the allotted time.

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My Top 5 Low-Impact Exercises

  1. Walkout pushup: Start in the bottom of a squat, place your hands on the floor and walk them out to a high plank position. Either do a full pushup or do a pushup from your knees, then walk your hands back to the squat, repeat.
  2. Cushion (or medicine ball) slam and squat: Start with the cushion or medicine ball above your head, engage your core and pelvic floor as you slam the cushion into the ground. Squat down to pick up the cushion, stand back up, repeat.
  3. Side shuffle punch: Start in the bottom of a squat. Punch the air four times, keep in a low squat and side shuffle across the room, punch the air four times and shuffle back to the beginning, repeat.
  4. Curtsy lunge overhead pass: Start holding the cushion in one hand, the opposite foot behind to curtsy lunge. As you pass the cushion over your head to your other hand, step out using the foot you had behind you then step your other foot back into a curtsy lunge and bring the cushion down to the side.
  5. Squat kick: Start in a regular squat position, squat down and up, at the top of the squat kick one leg forward keeping your body as straight as possible, squat and repeat with the other leg.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing an exercise, don’t do it. Always check with a medical professional before starting a new workout routine. Happy workouts!

Article Author Lucy D’Aguilar
Lucy D’Aguilar

Read more from Lucy here.

Lucy is the owner of an in-home and online personal training service specializing in postpartum fitness and core rehabilitation. She's a stay-at-home mama to an inquisitive little lady and an overly protective puppy which makes life very interesting. When she's not breaking up battles of whit between the two kiddies (puppy included) she's usually enjoying a cup of coffee that has been heated up about ten times. She is the self-proclaimed DIY master of her house, and loves to take on projects and gives herself a high five when she finishes it. You can find out more about her business at You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.



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