Forget burpees! This low-impact eight-move strength session boosts your metabolism and builds muscular arms

Build strength and endurance with a workout that's gentler on your joints

A woman performing triceps dips on a bench in a park
(Image credit: Getty)

Burpees can be very effective, but they're not a beginner exercise. It can be quite an intense experience to lower your whole body to the ground, and then it puts a lot of force through your joints, like your ankles, knees, elbows, and shoulders. 

Luckily, there are plenty of low-impact exercises out there to help you boost your strength and endurance just as effectively. This workout from Sweat app trainer Kelsey Wells, for example, builds muscle with moves that are easier on your joints. 

You only need a selection of dumbbells and a weight bench or chair (for the triceps dips) to give it a go. This makes it a great option for a busy gym, or an accessible home workout. 

If you're training at home, it can be worth picking up a set of the best adjustable dumbbells, which allow you to change their weight to suit the different exercises. That way, you can gradually increase the weight as you get stronger. 

This workout is split into three parts. First, you'll complete two supersets: a pair of exercises performed back to back with no rest in between. Repeat each one for four total rounds, with a one-minute break between each superset.

Watch Kelsey Wells' low-impact workout

Next up is a three-move circuit of biceps curls, push-ups, and bent to straight leg raises. Set a timer for nine minutes, perform 50 seconds of biceps curls, rest for 10 seconds then move on to the next exercise.

By the nine minute mark, you should have completed three rounds of each movement. The low rest times in this circuit will test your muscles' endurance and raise your heart rate, boosting your metabolism

When she was recovering from injury, Wells exclusively used low-impact training for a year, and she now says her "body feels amazing" as a result. She advises anyone tackling this workout to slow down their movements, find their rhythm and focus on form. 

Slowing down might sound like it will make the session easier, but with resistance training exercises it actually has the opposite effect. This is because it increases the time your muscles spend under tension, meaning they will do more work during each rep. 

Which is why you'll likely feel sore the next day as a result of the tiny tears caused to your muscle fibers as you train. This is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS); an uncomfortable experience, but one you can help along. 

Giving your muscles a massage with a foam roller helps bring blood into the area to encourage recovery, but it can also be worth adding a post-workout shake with one of the best protein powders for weight loss into your routine, too. 

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.