Low-Impact, High-Intensity: How Rock Climbing Supercharges Your Workout

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Looking for a low-impact workout that still presents a challenge? Rock climbing may be right up your alley. Low-impact exercise is great for people who can’t put too much strain on their joints and for anyone who wants to change up their workout routine. But don’t mistake low-impact for low-intensity. Low-impact simply means that you won’t be crashing your arms or legs into the ground as you would, for example, with running, jump-roping, or burpees. Instead, you’ll be using controlled movements that don’t require any jumping or jolting impact.

What are the Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise?

Low-impact exercise can be a great option for anyone. Even if you are a seasoned runner, cross-training with low-impact exercise can help you build strength and endurance while also giving your joints a break. 

Low-impact exercises are often recommended for people who are beginning to exercise again after a joint injury or who have arthritis, because they help you build strength around those joints without placing strain on them. They are also excellent for people who struggle with high-impact exercise due to being overweight or for other health reasons. Of course, it’s always wise to talk to your doctor about starting a new routine, especially if you have been injured or have a chronic condition.

But low-impact routines aren’t just a consolation prize if high-impact activities are off the table. They are also a perfect choice for anyone who is looking for a new, challenging activity. In fact, many dedicated runners incorporate low-impact cross-training for the purpose of building strength and endurance while giving their knees a break. 

And runners aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Here’s why low-impact exercise is a great choice for anyone:

  • Protect Joints – Low-impact exercise reduces strain on your joints by eliminating jolting impact with the ground. It’s perfect for people who have a health condition such as arthritis, or people who need to protect their joints for other reasons.
  • Reduce Injuries – High-impact exercises require plenty of rest between workouts to ensure that you don’t injure yourself. With low-impact exercise, you won’t be stressing your joints and muscles as much, so you won’t be as prone to injury. You can schedule them between your high-impact workouts so you can keep training while still giving your joints a break.
  • Build Strength – Remember, low-impact doesn’t mean low-intensity. A low-impact exercise can still require strength and endurance, helping you to work out your entire body.
  • Burn Calories – Any time you challenge your body and get your heart pumping, you’re going to burn calories. Low-impact exercises like swimming, elliptical training, and rock climbing can burn just as many calories as their high-impact counterparts. That makes these exercises a great way to burn fat and promote overall fitness.

Is Rock Climbing a Low-Impact Exercise?

Yes! Rock climbing is one of the most challenging low-impact exercises you’ll find. Low-impact simply means that you won’t be jumping or jolting like you would in a high-impact routine (think running or doing jump squats). Rock climbing falls into the low-impact category for this reason. But it still requires a great deal of strength and endurance, which makes it a challenging workout for anyone, no matter your fitness level. In fact, rock climbing can give you the same intense, immersive workout as HIIT, but without the stress and strain on your joints. 

Rock climbing will build strength throughout your whole body including your arms, legs, shoulders, glutes, back, and core. It is also an excellent aerobic exercise, and will help you improve your flexibility as you work through each new climb. If you’re ready to ramp up your workout with low-impact, high-intensity exercise, rock climbing has you covered! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, there’s always a new challenge waiting for you on the wall.

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