Ultra-intense workouts have been popular over the past several years, from CrossFit to boot camps to HIIT. Even yoga now has power and hot versions for greater intensity. While these workouts are challenging and can help stimulate the results exercisers are seeking, many also involve significant impact on the body, with running, jumping, leaping, hopping and more. High-impact work is valuable for strengthening the muscles, bones and joints, but also can lead to injuries due to repetitive stress.
Common overuse injuries from high-impact work like running include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, runner’s knee, piriformis and shin splints. Although it is beneficial to push oneself, ultimately, exercisers should be careful to balance high-impact work with lower or no impact sessions to ensure that the body isn’t constantly being subject to significant stress. Managing impact in this way will help keep the body strong and better able to perform over a lifetime.
Even if your favorite activity is a boot camp or running, take advantage of the multiple opportunities to exercise using low or no impact. And understand that low or no impact doesn’t necessarily mean that you coast through workouts, barely breaking a sweat. You can still maintain high intensity with these modalities, so you’ll boost stamina, but you won’t be pounding the muscles, joints and bones so much.
Consider the following for high-intensity, low-impact workouts, and if you have access to these machines/equipment, then fit these in regularly for a more balanced, safer overall routine:
- Elliptical machine – These machines are so popular because they are easy to use and integrate your entire body. Try various interval programs on ellipticals, where the resistance and/or pace required changes throughout the session based on time or the heart rate response. Or take on Octane’s exclusive X-Mode, GluteKicker or ArmBlaster for targeted interval training.
- Recumbent elliptical – The xRide from Octane Fitness offers interval training and muscular endurance programs that enable you to boost challenge and tax the entire body, even though you are sitting down. Focus on working hard.
- Cross trainer – Some alternate motion machines and cross trainers like Octane’s XT-One work the entire body with various movements that can increase challenges. Adding incline always spikes intensity, or take on the LateralX from Octane to work side-to-side motion with different widths.
- Stairclimber – Lifting your body repeatedly is tough, and that’s why fitness fanatics love the stairclimber. Try shorter sessions at first, and then add duration and eventually intervals for rigorous workouts.
- Zero Runner – Now you can run and run without subjecting your body to all that jarring impact that can cause fatigue, compromise form and ultimately lead to injuries. This innovative machine is a miracle for those who thought that they couldn’t run anymore, providing programs to train for 5Ks through marathons without impact.
- Fan bike – The Schwinn Airdyne Pro and new OctaneX aren’t your grandpa’s dusty old bike. Now equipped with improved technology that provides unlimited resistance and more efficient transfer of power, these total-body bikes also have HIIT programs that will keep you sweating.
- Rower – Although they may look easy, just watch a CrossFitter use a rower, and you know that they have abundant intensity. Again, you’re seated, but you’re working the entire body and can adjust resistance and pace, and set distance goals, to maximize cardiovascular conditioning. Plus, rowers work almost every muscle in your body!
- Free weights – Elevate your heart rate and strength train simultaneously with compound movements that include challenging weights and high repetitions. Move quickly from one exercise to another and skip the rest period between sets. Efficient and effective!
Fuel your workout with these great machines listed above and let us know your favorite! Stay Fueled.