This Easy-to-Follow 30-Minute Workout Is For Anyone With Downstairs Neighbors (or Who Just Wants to Avoid Burpees)
For months, I’ve been swapping out plyometric and other jumping exercises with static moves for that exact reason. But it can be tiring to remind yourself to opt for standard squats rather than jump squats, or to hold a plank for 30 seconds or more rather than completing burpees. So when I found out that my go-to fitness app was debuting a low-impact workout, I was excited… and I can only imagine my downstairs neighbor will be grateful, too.
On Monday, April 12, the Instagram-famous Sweat app launched its newest program, an eight-week low-impact circuit plan developed by co-founder Kayla Itsines. In a press release, the trainer explained that she was inspired to work on a routine that featured no jumping — and even more mercifully, no burpees — because her mom was always reticent to join her typically high-impact workouts.
“There was a need for a low-impact option for many other women who wanted an effective workout but without the high-intensity movement and pressure on their joints and muscles,” Itsines said. “I took all my favorite training features and built a brand new program of low-impact workouts for all women who are wanting a jump-free workout.”
Of course, people of all genders can complete the circuit, which is available through the Sweat app (membership starts at $20 a month). It also requires minimal equipment, and to celebrate the launch, Itsines designed a workout exclusively for Apartment Therapy that targets the muscles in your lower body. The flow is simple:
- Be sure to warm up for a few minutes before starting (a quick walk around the block works well here!)
- Complete each exercise for 30 seconds.
- Move from one exercise to the next without resting.
- Rest for 30 seconds after you complete all six exercises.
- Repeat the circuit three more times.
- For your cool down, take some time to stretch your muscles and lower your heart rate.
Your workout will be done in just under 30 minutes, and your neighbors and your joints will thank you.
Exercise One: Squat Pulse
Step 1: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. You might want to point your toes so that they point at where the 10 and 2 numerals would be on a clock.
Step 2: Inhale, and bend your legs as if you’re sitting in a chair, without letting your knees cave inward or outward, or extend past your toes. You’re in a full squat when your thighs are as close to parallel with the floor as you can get them. (You don’t need to worry about extending past parallel for this exercise.)
Step 3: As you exhale, stand up only slightly — about halfway between your starting position and your full squat.
Step 4: Inhale, and return to the full squat. Repeat this pattern for 30 seconds, making sure the movement comes from your glutes rather than your knees — any bounce should feel controlled.
Exercise Two: Romanian Deadlift
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing your thighs. This is a leg exercise, so don’t be afraid to pick heavier weights. (Haven’t been able to get your hands on a set of weights? There are plenty of items around your home that you can use.)
Step 2: Inhale, and push your hips back, making sure to keep your knees slightly bent. The weights should naturally move down your thighs and toward your shins. It’s important to keep your back flat throughout this movement, and to make sure your shoulders are locked into their sockets to keep your chest open.
Step 3: Exhale, and stand back up by pushing through your heels and focusing on your hips and glutes. Repeat for 30 seconds, going as slowly as you need to maintain control of your weights.
Exercise Three: Squat Thruster
Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and hold a weight in each hand. Raise them to your shoulders — if they’re heavier, you might want to rest them on your shoulders.
Step 2: Inhale and squat so that your thighs are as close to parallel with the floor as possible. Make sure your knees don’t extend over your toes, and focus the movement so that it comes from your hips and glutes rather than your knees.
Step 3: Exhale and stand back up by driving through your heels. As you push up, use the momentum to raise the weights over your head by extending your arms straight up. The bulk of this movement should come from your legs, not your arms.
Step 4: Inhale and return your arms to their starting position, and move through your standing position to your squat. This should feel as much like one fluid movement as you can manage, rather than segmented steps. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Exercise Four: Lateral Lunge
Step 1: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, with your feet pointing straight ahead.
Step 2: Inhale, and sink your hips back and toward your left leg, making sure to not let your knee extend past your toe. Your right leg should remain straight throughout. Keep your chest up and facing forward — the move should feel more like a squat and less like a deadlift, so you should feel like you’re leaning back and then down, rather than bending over.
Step 3: Exhale, and return to the starting position.
Step 4: Inhale, and repeat the move on your right leg; exhale, and return to standing. Alternate lunges on each leg for 30 seconds.
Exercise Five: Donkey Kick
Step 1: Assume a quadruped position, with your hands, knees, and toes on the floor. (You might want to put a folded towel under your knees for extra cushioning.) Make sure your back is flat and in a neutral position, and your shoulders are directly over your wrists.
Step 2: Inhale. On the exhale, keep your right knee bent and your foot flexed as you raise your right thigh up and behind you. It can be helpful to visualize that you’re pushing your foot through the ceiling, and powering the movement from your glutes.
Step 3: Inhale, and return your knee to the floor. Repeat this move on the right side for 30 seconds, before mirroring the move on your left side for 30 seconds.
Exercise Six: Goblet Squat
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your feet pointing in the 10-and-2 position. Hold a weight (or a DIY object!) in both hands, at your sternum.
Step 2: Inhale and squat so that your thighs are as close to parallel with the floor as possible. Make sure your knees don’t extend over your toes, and focus the movement so that it comes from your hips and glutes rather than your knees. The weight should stay close to your body, and your chest should stay as upright as possible.
Step 3: Exhale and return to the standing position by pushing through your heels. Repeat for 30 seconds.