Tuesday, June 2, 2020


By DJ Crino

Simple Exercises
That Can Help You Manage Knee Arthritis

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Arthritis affects about 23% of the adult population in the US. For people who have arthritic knees, the condition causes pain, swelling and stiffness that can make their life unpleasant and limit their activities.

While rest might be the more intuitive course of action for caring for a sore knee, there are significant benefits to exercising an arthritic knee. Exercise can strengthen the muscles that support the joint, improve the range of motion and help to reduce pain.

With the following exercises and a pair of supportive sneakers, you can manage your knee arthritis. Just remember to take it easy when you start and stick to low-impact exercises. 

Lying Hamstring Stretch

This is a good exercise for strengthening your hamstrings and keeping them loose. Start by lying with your back flat on the floor and your arms at your sides. Slowly bend one of your knees and bring it up toward your chest. Clasp your hands behind the thigh and straighten the leg. Pull the leg up toward your head until you feel your hamstring stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then gently lower the leg back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the other leg and try to see if you can increase the hold time in future workouts.

Single-leg Dips

The single-leg dip can be a good exercise for strengthening your thighs. For this exercise, you would start by standing between two chairs with the backs facing you. Put your hands on the backs of the chairs to help your balance and lift one leg straight out with the foot about 12 inches off the ground. Keep your back straight and bend your other knee to lower your body a few inches. Hold the position for about three seconds and then raise yourself back up. Start with five reps for each leg and gradually increase the reps as you get stronger.

Leg Raises

Leg raises can be good for building the quadriceps. Lie flat on your back with your arms straight at your sides. Keep your leg straight and slowly lift it a few inches off the ground. Hold your leg in the raised position for about five seconds and then slowly lower it back down to the floor. Switch to do the same exercise with the opposite leg. Start with 3-5 reps for each leg and gradually increase the count with each exercise session.

Leg Stretching

This exercise will help maintain flexibility in your legs and strengthen your quadriceps. Start sitting on the floor with your back straight and your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands flat on the floor next to your thighs to assist with stability. Gently bend one knee as you draw your foot toward your body. When you feel the stretch, stop and hold the position for ten seconds. Slowly straighten the leg back out and wait ten seconds before doing the exercise again. Do 5-10 reps on each leg before stopping.

Half Squats

Deep squats can be rough on an arthritic knee, so half squats can be a good alternative for working out the muscles in your upper legs. Start by standing straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees and raise your arms out in front of you. Stop when you are halfway in a sitting position and make sure to keep your back straight. Hold the position for about five seconds and then slowly raise your body back to the starting position. Start with ten reps and try to gradually increase the count as your legs get stronger. 

There are several exercises that can be used to build a home workout routine. With that said, there are exercises you should avoid if you have arthritic knees. Make sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine for your arthritic knees.

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