6 Soft Workouts for Women (and Why They Work)

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6 Soft Workouts for Women (and Why They Work) | Ideal for beginners, active recovery days, and if you're coming back from an injury, soft workouts are less intense, low impact workouts that emphasize mindful practice and overall well-being while also improving balance, mobility, and flexibility. They are less dramatic than classic HIIT or tabata workouts, but you can still make them intense. Click for a list of soft exercises to add to your weekly workout routine for consistent results!

Not all workouts have to be super intense sweat sessions. Incorporating soft workouts into your routine is not only great for your body, it also benefits your mind. Soft workouts encompass a gentler approach to exercise- they include low-impact exercises like walking, Pilates, and cycling. The goal is to move your body in a non-strenuous way while also enjoying your workout. While there are still advantages to high impact training, doing a mix of workouts throughout the week will give you the most benefits. Here are six soft workouts for women and why they work.

What Are Soft Workouts for Women?

Soft workouts offer less intense, gentler methods of working out. They focus on low impact movement that feels doable and realistic (no hard 75 over here!), and emphasize mindful practice and overall well-being.

Low impact workouts are beneficial because they allow people to more easily build a habit around making movement a part of their everyday routine that doesn’t feel overwhelming or intimidating. Rather than pushing yourself to your limit with high impact workouts that you dread, soft workouts should focus on movement that you actually enjoy.

However, don’t equate low impact with low intensity or easy- you can make your soft workout as challenging or low key as you want. You can definitely still get high-impact results with low-impact exercise. And remember, always listen to your body and adjust the frequency and duration of your soft workouts to align with your fitness level and goals.

What Are the Benefits of Soft Workouts for Women?

1. Ideal for beginners
Soft workouts are less intimidating than more intense workouts, such as bootcamp or running. They’re easier to get started with for beginners, and are easier to incorporate into your day to day life. It’s so important to create a daily habit around movement because, for a lot of people, it feels overwhelming to move daily or a few days a week. Low-impact workouts are a good way for those looking to incorporate a regular movement practice consistently.

2. Decrease the risk of injury to joints and tendons
Consistently doing high-impact exercise puts you at a higher risk for injury. Soft workouts allow you to pay more attention to form and don’t lead to wear and tear of your joints. And if you’re injured, soft workouts can put you a step ahead in recuperating. They allow you to maintain physical activity without putting stress on your joints and tendons. Gentle exercise can improve circulation and aid in faster healing, as well as gradually rebuild strength and flexibility.

3. Improve balance, mobility, and flexibility
Soft workouts often improve balance, core strength, and mobility. This is thanks to the focus on controlled movements, stability, and increased flexibility. These are all fundamental parts of your overall fitness. Activities like Pilates and stretching enhance joint mobility, reduce the risk of injury, and improve posture. Pilates and yoga not only deliver on strength and flexibility, but also balance.

4. Reduce stress
Soft workouts are super beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Regular practice of low-impact movement can improve your mood, better sleep quality, and create an overall sense of well-being, which is crucial for good mental health. When you pair low-impact exercise with intentional breathing, as you do in activities like yoga, you can reset the nervous system from ‘fight or flight’ mode back to a place of rest and relaxation.

5. Improve consistency
The best workout is the one you’ll actually do, and since soft workouts tend to be more enjoyable, they’re easier to work into your lifestyle and stay consistent with. They can be easily modified to suit various fitness levels, and most can be performed anywhere with little to no equipment.

What Equipment Will I Need?

  1. Exercise mat
  2. Light dumbbells
  3. Wrist/ankle weights

6 Soft Workouts for Women (and Why They Work)

1. Pilates
Pilates is beneficial for your balance, posture, strength, and flexibility, as well as improving your core strength. Part stretching, part strength, and part mind-body connection, Pilates provides many physical and mental benefits. If you’re just getting into Pilates, start with 20-30 minute sessions (you can find lots of beginner videos online that will guide you through the movements and techniques). You can also take classes at a local Pilates studio if you enjoy group classes.

2. Yoga
Yoga is another mind and body practice that builds strength and flexibility, and improves posture. It can also help manage pain and reduce stress. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to boost your overall well being. Like Pilates, you can take classes at a yoga studio, or find classes online.

3. Walking
Aim to incorporate at least 30 minutes of brisk walking into your daily routine. Not only does it improve your cardiovascular health, but it also boosts your mood and energy levels. Daily walking increases your metabolism by burning extra calories and preventing muscle loss. It can help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Regular walking also reduces your risk of chronic diseases, reduces stress, and improves your sleep. You can also add ankle or wrist weights to your walk for an added challenge.

4. Stretching
You should be stretching every single day. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. It helps prevent injury and reduces inflammation. As you become more flexible, you improve your strength, and have more freedom of movement. This allows you to perform everyday activities, such as bending over to tie your shoes, lifting groceries, and reaching the top shelf of your cupboard. Aim to dedicate 10-15 minutes daily to stretching, focusing on major muscle groups.

5. Swimming
Swimming is an amazing workout that builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It tones your muscles and builds strength, and is an incredible full-body workout. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart and lungs, and it’s also known to boost your mood and mental health.

6. Cycling
Cycling is a great low-impact workout that you can customize to your fitness level and energy that day. You can take a more leisurely bike ride outside, or choose to go to a challenging indoor cycling class. Cycling improves overall function in your lower body, strengthening your leg muscles without over-stressing your joints. It gets your blood pumping, raises your heart rate, and burns calories! If you’re cycling on a stationary bike, consider adding light dumbbells and doing some arm exercises at the end of your session.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by high-impact, high intensity workouts, soft workouts may be just what you need. Try switching things up to see how soft workouts work for you.

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 6 Soft Workouts for Women (and Why They Work) | Ideal for beginners, active recovery days, and if you're coming back from an injury, soft workouts are less intense, low impact workouts that emphasize mindful practice and overall well-being while also improving balance, mobility, and flexibility. They are less dramatic than classic HIIT or tabata workouts, but you can still make them intense. Click for a list of soft exercises to add to your weekly workout routine for consistent results!

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