The Best Strength Training Exercises For Joint Pain And Arthritis

The Best Strength Training Exercises For Joint Pain

As I put more content together I realized that many of the exercises overlap. Many of the the best strength exercises for knee pain are the same as the best strength exercises for back pain. You can treat arthritis and osteoporosis with the same exercises as well. I chose the following exercise because they are both SAFE and EFFECTIVE for limiting joint pain. The fact that they treat a number of common conditions in adults as they get older makes them all the more important.

The Glute Bridge

Strong glutes and hamstrings is the most important thing you can do to protect your joints as you get older. The glute bridge is a SAFE and effective way to target these muscles. It’s also easy to progress or regress to match any ability level, making it a great choice for those dealing with joint pain.

Find 10 Glute Progressions Here

The Plank

Building a strong core is another important goal of strength training for joint pain. If you look online there are 100’s of core exercises to choose from. The plank is a great choise because it limits impact on your joints for less pain and arthritis. It’s also easy to progress or regress to match your ability level. 

10 Plank Progressions For All Ability Levels

The Banded Hip Hinge

Anyone concerned about joint pain and arthritis should learn how to hip hinge. The hip hinge keeps impact in your larger weight bearing joints (your hip) and off your spine and knees. Adding resistance makes this a great move to target your glutes and hamstrings. For a simple movement there’s a lot that can go wrong. It’s important to practice the basics before progressing to heavier variations.

10 Hip Hinge Progressions For Less Joint Pain

The Kettlebell Deadlift

The deadlift is one of the best full body strengthening exercises for joint pain and arthritis. Like the hip hinge, the deadlift is an important movement pattern that takes pressure off our joints. It also targets your glutes and hamstrings. The kettlebell deadlift is a great exercise to practice with as you can start lighter before progressing.

Learn How To Deadlift With Good Form Here

The Squat

The squat is another full body strength training that improves movement, mobility and strength for less joint pain. The goblet squat is an easy way to add resistance to your squat, making is one of the best strength training exercises for joint pain. Perfect your form before progressing to heavier variations.

10 Squat Variations For Beginners

The Reverse Lunge

A lot of joint pain and arthritis can be caused by side to side imbalances. Single leg strength exercises help to improve these imbalances by making the weaker side work just as hard as the stronger side. I always stick with the reverse lunge (vs. forward lunge) as it’s easier on your joints. If you’re not feeling comfortable yet with the lunge, check out some regressions at the link below.

10 Lunge Variations For Less Joint Pain

The Farmer’s Carry

As it turns out, lifting up something havy and carrying it around is one of the best things you can do for joint pain. The farmer’s carry is a great functional core strengthening exercise that builds strength to take pressure off your joints.

The best strength training exercises for joint pain are both SAFE and EFFECTIVE. They also should offer different variations to al allow you to keep moving forward. as you get stronger.


For the last 10 years I’ve been helping adults build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy, and happy lives. My free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ gives you a step-by-step, approachable way to build strength without stressing your joints. Download it below and get started feeling better today.

New To Strength Training? Get Started With Our Free Program

Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain

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