7 Exercises that Strengthen Joints

Joint pain is no stranger to many Americans—with up to 30% of the adult population expressing pain in the knees, back, and other areas of stress. High impact exercises like running or step aerobics aren’t as comfortable or as feasible for many Americans who still want to work out and stay healthy with joint pain. If that sounds like you, read on—we’ll be going over some the top 7 ways you can train and strengthen your joints and body.

Planking

Planking exercises are great for core strength—and can work to improve posture and help to minimize your waistline. Since most planking exercises are low-to-no impact, the stress on your joints should be minimal. In fact, planking forces your body to develop and tone muscles around the joints—and can alleviate and improve joint pain over time.

Try to incorporate planking exercises into your routine, and don’t forget to try out reverse and side planking. Over time, your core will improve—and you just might some relief from your joint pain as well.

Calf Raises

Few exercises are as simple to explain and perform as the calf raise.

Simply balance yourself with a chair, wrap one leg around the other at the calf, and rise up to the ball of your foot—keeping your heel off of the ground and calf muscles flexed. Calf raises will train the muscles around your ankles—so if this is a particular point of contention for you, try practicing several repetitions on each foot during your regular workout. Don’t forget to maintain proper posture in order to keep the exercise effective.

Leg Raises

 Leg raises are a great exercise to incorporate in addition to calf raises and will work to improve more aspects of your lower body strength. Lie down on the floor (or preferably on an exercise mat) and raise your leg at the hip. Be sure to keep your leg completely straight and your hands palm-down on the floor. If you’re working to strengthen your lower body—be it your hips, knees, or ankles—leg raises are a great all-around workout to strengthen joints and build up core strength.

Lateral Band Walks

 A fan favorite amongst athletes and trainers alike—the lateral band walk will require, as the name implies, an exercise band in order to complete. Wrap a band around your ankles and enter a shallow squatting position. Then, step sideways in several repetitions to work out your legs and improve joint strength at the hips. Think of it like a crab walk—and remember to only use an exercise band when performing the workout. Lateral band walks are great for hip strength, knee strength, and other problem areas below the belt.

Lunges

Lunges are a simple and universal exercise that can help build up strength in the legs and improve posture. Keeping your posture straight and eyes forward, take a step forward and lower your hips. The goal is to lunge so that your legs for two right angles at its deepest point. Rise and repeat. If you’d like to shake things up, you could always try out a reverse lunge, or implement a stool in order to further strengthen your lower body.

Single Leg Deadlifts

 Single leg deadlifts are great for a more well-rounded exercise that focuses on legs, arms, the core of your body.

To perform a single leg deadlift, take a weight or dumbbell in one hand and stand up straight. Using the leg opposite the arm holding the weight, kick a leg out behind you and lower your torso. You want to end in a position where your body forms a “T” shape with the ground—with one leg straight behind you, and another perpendicular to the floor. The weight should also be perpendicular to the floor. Single leg deadlifts can be powerful if used effectively, so be sure to compare your technique with others and maintain straight legs throughout.

 Yoga Exercises

 Yoga, tai chi, and other eastern disciplines are wonderful for those who need low-impact workouts and would like to increase mobility and strengthen joints.

Try out the cobra pose

Lie on your stomach and raise your upper body with your arms—making sure your hips remain on the floor.The triangle pose is another great option—simply take a wide stance and lift both arms so that they remain parallel to the ground. Moving sideways, reach to one of your legs with the adjoining arm and raise the other skyward. Switch positions, and repeat. There are hundreds of poses and many different forms of disciplines & martial arts to learn that can reduce your joint pain. If you’re interested in a comprehensive discipline, yoga and similar arts may be right for you.

Final Thoughts

 Exercises aren't the only way to strengthen joints and alleviate chronic pain.Talk with your doctor about prescription medication that can help you prepare for exercise and mitigate joint pain. There are also many services that can get your prescriptions delivered straight to your door, so be sure to find the easiest and simplest way for you to receive the medication you need.

We hope that these seven workouts have given you a few ideas to develop and strengthen the joints in your body, as well as provide a plan of attack to alleviating your joint pain in a safe and exciting way.