Gentle on Joints: Discover Low Impact Exercise Equipment

Medically reviewed by: David M. Joyner, MD, FACS

A healthier lifestyle is yours for the taking and nothing is going to stand in your way—with physical limitations, sensitive joints and other limitations, low impact exercise may be a great option for you. Always get clearance from your physician before beginning/changing your exercise routine especially if you have physical limitations or health issues.

So lace up those trainers, put on your favorite pump-up playlist, and let’s run through the best options for low-impact exercise equipment.

The Need for Low Impact Exercise Machines

Low-impact equipment changed the exercise game for seniors, people with joint issues or recovering injuries, and even fitness novices.

When you activate muscle groups and boost cardiovascular activity while minimizing stress and strain on the joints and connective tissues, your workout can mirror high-intensity exercises without the jarring shocks to the body. 

Understanding Low Impact Exercise

With low-impact exercise, this means walking instead of running, stepping up instead of jumping as well as other options. Compared to high-impact workouts, which can put more stress on the joints.

Scouting for good machines? Be sure to look for:

  • Adjustable resistance
  • Ergonomic design
  • Smooth motion paths 

Identifying the Best Low-Impact Exercise Machines

After scouring gyms near and far, here are our top picks for the best low-impact workout equipment on the market today:

  • Rowing Machines
  • Bikes
  • Elliptical Machines
  • Stair Climbers
  • Whole Body Vibration Machines

As exercise enthusiasts and accessibility advocates, we know what makes superior home exercise equipment. Our selections are based on:

  • Ergonomic design – The key to user comfort and reducing strain for a safer low impact workout

  • Adjustable resistance –  Enables safe, gradual intensity suitable for any fitness level

  • Cardiovascular efficiency – Provides heart-healthy workouts with smooth, low-impact motions

  • Versatility of workouts – Offers diverse programs to prevent repetitive strain and increase engagement

  • Space efficiency – Designed for home use with compact options for easy low-impact exercise access

Top Categories of Low-Impact Workout Machines in the Market

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines offer a full-body workout, engaging a significant portion of your body's muscles. They are excellent for cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, providing a complete range of movement. When choosing a rowing machine, look for features like a comfortable seat, resistance options, adjustable foot straps, and a digital dashboard for tracking your workouts.


Bikes, including Assault Bikes

Assault bikes, or air bikes, are a step up from traditional stationary bikes. They use air to create resistance, meaning the harder you pedal, the more resistance you encounter. These bikes are excellent for improving metabolic conditioning, endurance, and lung capacity, while also strengthening the heart.


Elliptical Machines

Ellipticals are popular for their ability to offer a running-like cardio workout without the high impact on joints. They are particularly beneficial for those seeking cardiovascular and lower body endurance workouts, and are also recommended for people recovering from injuries.


Stair Climbers

Stair climbers simulate the action of climbing stairs, providing an effective cardiovascular workout. They are compact, making them suitable for home gyms, and focus primarily on the lower body, including the glutes, calves, quads, hamstrings, and core.


Whole Body Vibration Machines

Power Plate® Whole Body Vibration Machines have made quite the splash in low-impact exercise. The plates use innovative vibration technology to stimulate muscle response to provide a full-body workout that enhances strength, flexibility, and circulation—simply by engaging your body’s natural responses.

Features and Benefits of Power Plate Machines

So, how does it stack up against some of the other pieces of equipment? Here’s everything you can expect:


  • Enhanced muscle activation – The vibration technology forces your muscles to contract quickly and work together, which requires up to 95% of your muscles—that’s up to 138 more muscle fibers than standard workouts. It also makes it one of the best low impact exercise equipment for weight loss.

  • Increased circulation – Whole-body vibration machines can help increase peripheral blood flow, which may lead to faster recovery and a healthier heart4.

  • Minimal strain on joints – The gentle vibrations of this exercise machine give you a solid workout without triggering joint pain or discomfort. That means it’s great for people of any age or fitness level.

  • Improved flexibility and range of motion – Using a whole-body vibration plate can often make you more flexible and balanced as it stretches and strengthens your muscles safely.

User Experiences and Testimonials

  • “The power plate move is amazing! Just standing on it for minutes gives me the feeling of a great workout. My circulation has improved in my legs and feet. I feel energized in minutes so glad I got it.” – Antoinette R. 
  • “It’s been a tremendous purchase, my spouse has noticed improved tone and muscle mass in just 2 months. I have noticed the improved flexibility and just feel better every day.” – John M.
  • “I've been using my Move for a couple of weeks now and I am already feeling the difference in my lower back! I already have more flexibility and less sciatic pain. I love the workouts too! I'm looking forward to continued improvement in my lower back pain, muscle tone, balance and circulation. Can't recommend it enough!!!” – Phillip 

Integrating Low-Impact Machines into Your Fitness Routine

Adding a low-impact exercise machine like Power Plate to your workout can make your fitness journey more effective and enjoyable. 


Creating a Balanced Workout Plan

For a well-rounded workout, include these vibration plate exercises in your current routine about 2-3 times a week. Then, as you become more comfortable and aim for specific fitness goals, you can slowly increase how long and how hard you work out.

Remember: Variety matters. Mixing vibration training with cardio and strength exercises will benefit your overall health.


Safety and Precautions

Even low-impact equipment comes with necessary safety measures:

  • Always read the instructions in full when hopping on a new machine, even if it’s similar to equipment you’ve used before.
  • Always consult your doctor to discuss if Whole Body Vibration is right for you. 
  • Don’t surpass the stated time limits. Many machines recommend just 10 minutes a day, and that longer workouts don’t yield greater returns.
  • Exercise with a friend, trainer, or physical therapist, especially when you’re starting a new regimen or recovering from an injury.
  • Start every session with a proper warm-up and end with a cool down.
  • Listen to your body and don’t push yourself past your limits! You can always increase the intensity with time. 

Low Impact, High Standards

There’s nothing “lesser” about listening to your body, prioritizing your health, and finding a workout routine that suits your needs. With the right machine, you can still achieve your fitness goal and avoid strain and injury.

Ready to start feeling the power of safe, effective exercise? Check out our Power Plates now for a full-body workout that can’t be replicated. On top of our whole body vibration machines, we carry a variety of targeted vibration products focused on preparation and recovery. Learn more about our vibration massage gun and vibrating foam rollers.


National Library of Medicine. Exercise and osteoarthritis.

Vibratory Therapy. Whole Body Vibration: An Alternative Treatment for Chronic Low-Back Pain. 

Journal of Athletic Training. Whole-Body Vibration and Blood Flow and Muscle Oxygenation: A Meta-Analysis. 

Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. Whole-body Vibration Exercise in the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases: A systematic review.


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