Exercise is one of the best things you can do to limit pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Building strength is the best way to limit the wear and tear that causes osteoarthritis. However, many people are nervous to get started in fear of making their joint pain worse. By making a few simple changes when exercising with arthritis, I’ll show you how to build strength without stressing your joints.
Form Over Weight
As you get older, how you move is much more important than how much you move. To continue exercising with arthritis there needs to be a strong emphasis on learning how to move in ways to protect the joints in your back, knees, hips, etc. Lifting too heavy a weight without maintaining good form is a surefire way to making your arthritis worse.
Learning, practicing, and understanding good form is vital in exercising with arthirtis.
Control Over Speed
When exercising with arthritis and joint pain, being able to control a movement is much more important than how fast or how many reps of the movement you can do. Slow and controlled movements limits the impact that goes through your joints to protect your joints while exercising. Going to fast leads to poor form which, as mentioned above, leads to more joint pain and arthritis.
Moving too fast with movements like the lunge can lead too poor form and cause more joint pain.
Limit High Impact Movements
Osteoarthritis is caused by too much ‘wear and tear’ on the joints. In order to keep exercising with arthritis it’s important to limit high impact activities. This may mean switching up the type of activity you use to keep active. Biking, swimming and strength training are all lower impact activities that help protect your joints as you get older.
Running is an example of a high impact, repetitive activity that can make joint pain worse.
Keep It Simple
The best thing you can do to keep exercising with arthritis is to keep it simple. The more advanced a movement, the more something can go wrong and lead to joint pain. Sticking with simple movements, repeated with consistency is the safest and most effective way to build strength without stressing your joints.
Focus On Functional Movements
For most people as they get older, their motivations for exercise change. The aesthetic component (weight loss, six pack abs, etc) is replaced by a desire to maintain their lifestyle as they get older. Functional movements are exercises based on real-world activties. Improving functional movements will not only protect your joints during your exercise routine, but will improve your ability to perform many activties of yoru daily routine. Every plan I put together includes the foundational movements listed below.
The lift is a functional movement used in the gym and everyday life.
When exercising with arthritis we have to shift our focus in order to protect our joints. Focusing on form, control, and simple, functional movements allows you to build strength without stressing your joints.
For a complete program designed to build strength without stressing you joint be sure to check out our ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ program below.