Low Impact Strength Training: The Gentle Way to Power
In the world of fitness, it's common to hear phrases like "no pain, no gain," suggesting that the more rigorous the exercise, the greater the results. However, this perspective overlooks a crucial fact: not all exercise needs to be high-impact to be effective. The rise of low-impact strength training is a testament to this, allowing individuals to build strength and fitness without putting excessive strain on their joints and muscles.
What is Low Impact Training?
Low-impact training refers to exercises that are gentle on your joints, notably your knees, hips, and ankles. These are workouts that involve at least one foot staying in contact with the ground at all times, reducing the shock and stress your body experiences compared to high impact exercises. This form of training can incorporate resistance and strength training, aerobic workouts, and stretching exercises.
The Benefits of Low-Impact Training
The benefits of low-impact strength training are multifaceted, making it a suitable option for virtually everyone.
- Reduced risk of injury: With less strain placed on the joints, the risk of injury is significantly reduced.
- Improved joint health: Low-impact exercises can promote joint flexibility and mobility, contributing to better joint health in the long run.
- Inclusive: Regardless of your age, fitness level, or any pre-existing conditions, you can participate in and benefit from low-impact exercises.
- Muscle toning and strengthening: Although gentle on joints, these workouts are effective at building and toning muscles.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Low impact aerobic exercises can still provide an excellent cardio workout, strengthening your heart and lungs.
High Impact Exercises
In contrast to low impact exercises, high impact exercises involve both feet leaving the ground at the same time, leading to a higher stress level on joints and muscles. Examples include running, jumping (including jump rope workouts), plyometrics, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and certain dance and aerobics classes. While these exercises can be effective, they carry a higher risk of injury, particularly for people with joint issues or those new to exercise.
The Nordic Trainer: The Low-Impact Powerhouse
The Nordic Trainer is a prime example of a low-impact exercise machine that delivers powerful results. This cross-trainer mimics the motions of cross-country skiing, working both your upper and lower body without the harsh impacts of running or jumping.
Three ways the Nordic Trainer remains low-impact:
Double Poling for Cardio: Unlike traditional cardio machines like treadmills or stair climbers, the Nordic Trainer allows you to achieve an intense cardiovascular workout without even moving your legs. The 'double poling' technique engages your core and upper body muscles, providing cardio exercise while standing still. This significantly reduces the strain on your joints that's typically associated with traditional leg-focused cardio.
Soft Movement of Poles: The Nordic Trainer incorporates the use of poles, designed to simulate the motion of cross-country skiing. These poles move smoothly and fluidly, creating a rhythmic, low-impact motion that engages the upper body without jarring or strain.
No Hard Footfall: One of the primary sources of high impact in many exercises is the hard footfall, such as when running or jumping. The Nordic Trainer eliminates this issue entirely. The machine's design keeps your feet in constant contact with the footrests, maintaining a gentle interaction with the machine rather than a forceful impact with a hard surface.
These eliminates the jarring forces that often accompany high impact exercise, while still providing a comprehensive workout that targets virtually all major muscle groups. Remember there are more than 50 different exercise combinations on the Nordic Trainer.
Training with the Nordic Trainer at Home Using the Nordic Strong App
The Nordic Strong App enhances the versatility of the Nordic Trainer by providing a variety of guided workouts that you can do right from the comfort of your own home. The app has different training plans based on your fitness goals, be it weight loss, muscle toning, or overall fitness improvement.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, the app can tailor workouts to suit your needs, allowing you to control the intensity and duration of your workout.
High-Calorie Burn with Low Impact
One of the misconceptions about low-impact training is that it can't burn as many calories as high-impact training. But that’s not necessarily the case. The Nordic Trainer, for example, provides a full-body workout that can help you burn calories at an impressive rate, all while keeping the impact low.
In conclusion, low-impact strength training, particularly with the Nordic Trainer, is a highly effective and inclusive approach to fitness. It offers the opportunity to build strength, improve overall fitness, and maintain joint health, all while minimizing the risk of injury. With tools like the Nordic Strong App, you can also enjoy a varied, customizable workout from the comfort of your home. For anyone seeking a sustainable and joint-friendly path to fitness, low-impact strength training could be your answer.