Mixing up High and Low Impact in a 30-Minute Set

When it comes to your workout, not every day or every set calls for the most challenging variation. Almost any exercise can be turned from low to high impact and back again. But it’s important to truly understand the form before you progress to a high-impact variation.

This sweaty 30-minute set will help you adapt the form of the movements and build strength as you go. When you move into the high impact variations, you be able to recruit the muscle memory you’ve created to increase your endurance.

Here’s your 30-minute workout for the day:

  • Perform 5 rounds of each of these moves – 25 reps each – in their low impact variation.
  • Go through each move again, first for 60 seconds in low impact, then for 30 seconds at a higher impact (higher impact described in picture caption).
  • Repeat all the moves one last time, just in their high impact variation for 45 seconds.

These are the moves:

  • Goblet squats –> Squat jump (high impact)
  • Slow mountain climbers (low impact) –> Fast mountain climbers (high impact)
  • High-to-low squat (low impact) –> Squat jacks (high impact)
  • Step to frogger (low impact) –> Frogger hops (high impact)
  • Twisting lunge (low impact) –> Lunge hops with twist (high impact)
  • Tricep Dips (low impact) –> Crab walk (high impact)
  • Sumo squat oblique crunches (low impact) –> Sumo squat cross jumps (high impact)

This is what it all looks like:

Goblet squats: Hold one or two heavy dumbbells at your chest. Squat and keep you chest lifted, using the weight to help you. Inhale down and exhale up, driving through your heels.

For your high impact variation, set the weight down and just perform squat jumps. From the bottom of your squat, exhale, drive through your heels and jump straight up into the air. Land back into your squat.

Lower impact:asweatlife_twodumbbells_goblet1asweatlife_twodumbbells_goblet2 asweatlife_twodumbbells_goblet1

Higher impact:asweatlife_1000reps_airsquat2

Mountain climbers (Right and left side = one rep): From a plank position, bring one knee into your chest, then switch quickly to the other knee into your chest, focusing on your core and keeping your shoulders lined up right over your wrists the whole time.

Your first set is low impact, moving as slowly as possible and drawing your knee as close up towards your chest as you can. Then, increase the pace as you’re able for the high-impact round.

Lower/higher impact:asweatlife_twodumbbells_mtnclimber1 asweatlife_twodumbbells_mtnclimber2

High-to-low squat / squat jacks: With your feet together, lift your arms straight up. As you exhale, step out to a squat and lower your hands as close to outside your ankles as possible, keeping you chest as lifted as possible. Then step your feet back together and lift your arms back up.

For the high impact variation, hop out to a squat and jump your feet back together.

Lower/higher impact:asweatlife_cardiotimer_squatjack1 asweatlife_cardiotimer_squatjack2

Froggers: Come down to a squat position. Plant your hands on the ground, step one foot then the other lightly back to a plank, then step your feet, one at a time, back to the original squat position and lift your hands off the ground. Repeat this motion, staying low in your squat or plank the whole time.

When it’s time for the high-impact round, lightly hop both your feet back to a plank and hop them back up to your squat position instead of stepping.

Lower impact: asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger1
asweatlife_60secdrills_lizardswitch2asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger3 asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger4

Higher impact:asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger1 asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger2 asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger3 asweatlife_cardiotimer_frogger4

Twisting lunge / hops: Lunge your right leg back. Keeping your body upright, twist to the left. Drive through your standing left leg to come back to center with your right knee into your chest.

For the high-impact variation, add a hop when you come back to center.

Lower/higher impact:asweatlife_60secdrills_lungetwist3asweatlife_60secdrills_highknees1

Tricep dips / crab walks: Start in a reverse tabletop position, fingertips facing towards your toes. Keep your chest open and lifted as you inhale and bend your elbows straight back, avoiding sagging your hips down. Exhale as you press up.

For the higher impact version (which isn’t very high impact in this case), take your reverse table top for a walk. Alternate your right hand and left foot backward, then left hand and right foot. Move forward and backward in your space.

Lower impact:asweatlife_absarms_triceps1

Higher impact:asweatlife_1000reps_crabwalk1 asweatlife_1000reps_crabwalk2 asweatlife_1000reps_crabwalk3

Sumo squat oblique crunches and cross jumps: Squat down into a sumo squat (toes out, heels in, externally rotating from the hips so your knees track over your toes) and stay as low as you can as you crunch your right elbow to your right thigh, then back through center and take it to the left for one minute.

For your higher impact round, separate your feet wide, toes out and knees tracking right over toes. Squat low into a sumo squat and from your low squat position, either jump your legs together and across (on the ground = version A) or scissor cross your legs in the air and land back in your sumo squat (in the air = version B). Switch which leg crosses in front each rep.

Lower impact:asweatlife_abworkout_sumo1asweatlife_abworkout_sumo2asweatlife_abworkout_sumo3

(higher impact version A)
asweatlife_60secdrills_sumosquat1 asweatlife_60secdrills_sumosquat2

(higher impact version B)



(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.