20-Minute Low Impact Cardio Workout

Get your heart pumping and body sweating with this low impact HIIT workout.


By Cori


All too often when we think about “cardio workouts” or “HIIT workouts” we think about a ton of jumping and high-impact exercises that many of us can’t do. But just because you can’t do high impact moves doesn’t mean you can’t get the blood pumping and sweat flowing with a high intensity interval session!

Using these low impact moves, you can get a great Low Impact Cardio Workout in just 20 minutes!

The 20-Minute Low Impact Cardio Workout

Set a timer for 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest between moves. Move from one exercise to the next and do not rest more than 20 seconds between rounds. Complete four rounds of the following circuit.


40 seconds 3-Point Skaters

20 seconds Rest

40 seconds Inchworm Push Ups

20 seconds Rest

40 seconds Squat Ins and Outs

20 seconds Rest

40 seconds March with Twist

20 seconds Rest

40 seconds Knee Tap Plank

20 seconds Rest

Exercise Descriptions:

3-Point Skaters- Start standing to one side of the space you have to use. Stand on your outside foot and shift your weight onto that leg as you sink down into a little squat, pushing your butt back while reaching the other leg back and across behind you. Reach your opposite arm down to touch the ground right by your front foot.

Then push off that front foot to move laterally and switch to have the other foot in front as you reach the other leg back and across behind you.. Swing your arms across your body as you move laterally to land on the other leg.

Then push back to the start moving sideways to lunge back on the other side, reaching your opposite hand toward your front foot. Move at a quick pace back and forth.

Inchworm Push Ups- Start standing tall. Hinge at the hips, keeping your legs straight and place your hands down on the ground. Then walk your hands out to move into a high plank position.

Once in the plank, do a push up. Keep your core engaged and make sure your body moves as one unit. Beginners can drop to their knees for the push up. Press back up to the top of the push up and then walk your hands back in toward your feet, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Walk in and stand up and then repeat.

Squat Ins and Outs- Stand tall with your feet together then sink into a little squat. Staying in this squat position, step one foot at a time out to about shoulder-width apart or just wider. Then step your feet back together.

You can switch which foot leads each time or after a certain number of reps. Do not stand up at any point though. Stay in the low squat and step out, out then in, in.

March with Twist- Stand tall and place your fingertips lightly behind your head with your elbows out to the sides. March one knee up and twist your core to rotate your elbow toward your knee. Without rounding over, try to touch your knee as close to your elbow as possible.

Then lower back down and march the other knee up and twist the opposite elbow toward your knee. Feel your core working as you rotate. Move quickly alternating twists to each side.

Knee Tap Plank- Set up in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your feet about hip-width apart. Your body should be in a nice straight line from your head to your heels.

Then tap your knees down to the ground, lowering them slowly, before returning back up to the plank. Do not stick your butt up in the air or move your hips or feet or hands. You are simply lowering the knees to the ground then raising them back up as you brace your abs.

For more low impact exercises, check out these 24 Low Impact Moves!

Cori is the owner of Redefining Strength, a functional training facility in Orange County, California focused on helping each client find their strong. She started training and writing a fitness blog in 2011 because she wanted to empower people through diet and exercise so that they can lead healthier, happier lives.