People who have bad knees, or experience hip, shoulder or ankle joint pain while exercising, need not keep away from physical activity altogether. They can still exercise! Yes there are joint friendly exercises to their rescue. Instead of stressing the joints with high-impact workouts, they need to creatively choose low impact alternatives and practice them consistently. This article deals with 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises.
10 Best Joint Friendly Low Impact Exercises
Whether it is shoulder pain, knee pain, even discomfort with the elbow, shifting to joint friendly workouts not only help to prevent occurrence of injuries but also allows the individual to continue exercising and staying healthy. These exercises are both challenging, yet safe on the body. They put less stress on the joints, while simultaneously helping to make them stronger. These exercises are in fact more beneficial as they also help in building muscles to protect weak hips, knees, ankles, and other problematic joint.
By practicing the following 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises, a person can continue on their fitness journey without hurting their joints:
- Swimming Laps – This is one of the most effective of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises, especially for people struggling with problem of bad joints or excess weight is swimming laps. A person tends to feel virtually weightless in water as their entire body weight gets well supported. This implies the individual can enjoy a good swim and burn calories without experiencing joint pain.
- Aqua Aerobics – Like swimming laps, aqua cardio is also perfect for overweight individuals who are suffering from arthritis or joint issues. This form is surely one of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises for people with joint pain or injuries. This workout is the ideal blend of calorie-burning cardio and weight-bearing moves in gravity defying water, which helps to work the body without putting stress on the joints.
- Hatha Yoga – One of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises is a form of yoga too. Hatha yoga is a combination of gentle stretching with guided breath. One should practice a series of low impact, low cardio yogasanas which aim at improving the flexibility of the body and promoting strong muscles and joints.
- Push-Ups – Push-ups is not just an exercise which benefits the chest, but is rather a multi-targeted move which helps to strengthen the biceps, triceps, abdominals, and lower back, too. This too is one of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises Ones who find regular push-ups to be tough, can start with push-ups on their knees. Similarly, if regular push-ups seem too easy, the individual can add the resistance of a weight vest, elevated feet on a bench, or alternating one-armed push-ups.
- Planks – Like push-ups, planks are also considered to be a multi-purpose, multi-functional exercise which targets the core, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps and back. One can increase the intensity of this low impact move on the muscles by side planking, or planking with alternate legs and raised arms. While this is one of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises, it requires muscles in good condition. So, for people with muscles recovering from injuries must perform these exercises gradually and under guidance.
- Rowing Machine – Although it is one of the most ignored gym equipment, rowing machine is actually one of the best joint friendly low impact exercises at the gym. It helps to strengthen the upper body, including the chest, biceps, triceps, and shoulder, as one pulls, and lower body, including the calves, quads, inner and outer thighs, as one pushes.
- Elliptical Trainer – The elliptical trainer can help to torch up to 300 calories in a 45-minute long, no-impact workout. Since the elliptical machines are designed to keep the feet still and steady while the user pumps their arms, exercising on this machine is considered to be a safe, low impact, calories burning, and upper and lower muscle building workout. However, gym equipment is best used with proper guidance and progressed gradually as per a person’s fitness levels.
- Walking – If the knees are not strong enough to handle running, a person can choose to walk or hike to get many benefits without risking their joints. Walking is one of the10 best joint friendly low impact exercises that can be safely performed by most people. Ones new to exercising should start with a 15 minute walk in their neighborhood and gradually increase the duration up to 45 minutes.
- Recumbent Cycling – People looking for a safe form of exercise when dealing with joint issues can greatly benefit from recumbent cycling. This is not only one of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises but also a safe workout to boost your metabolism. By practicing recumbent cycling, one can enjoy the benefits of cycling in the safe and low impact environment of the gym, without the risk of falling on rough terrain. The recumbent style also helps to ease stress on the knee and ankle joints.
- Zumba – This sizzling, Latin-inspired cardio dance class is a lot of load for sure, but it is also a great way to torch calories in a safe, low impact environment. There are various ways of performing Zumba and the low impact moves mainly qualify as one of the 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises. Few Zumba classes feature jumping, so people who have bad joints should ask their Zumba instructor for low impact alternatives.
These are some of the exercises that can be performed by people with joint problems, injuries and other health problems. However, as each person is different, it is important to seek medical opinion before beginning with any exercises and also follow the advice of physical therapist or fitness expert to plan a proper exercise regimen. So, now you can plan a workout for healthy joints with these 10 best joint friendly low impact exercises.