Exercise is important for everyone, including those suffering with painful joints and arthritis. In fact, a regular exercise routine is particularly beneficial to people with chronic joint pain. We're taking a look at some of the best exercises for painful joints and how you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home.


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Can I Exercise With Painful Joints?
  2. What Are The Best Exercises For Painful Joints?
  3. Cycling
  4. Swimming
  5. Walking
  6. Yoga
  7. Pilates

Can I Exercise With Painful Joints?

Absolutely yes. Painful joints can have a serious impact on your daily life, making simple day to day movements like going upstairs, getting out of the car or unloading the dishwasher uncomfortable. So by doing the right types of exercises, you will improve the strength and stability of your joints, which will, in turn, improve your health and fitness and help you to maintain your independence.

What Are The Best Exercises For Painful Joints?

If you are experiencing painful joints, you don’t want to trigger more pain with the wrong sorts of exercises. While it’s normal to feel a little discomfort while you’re challenging your body, the movements shouldn’t hurt. We recommend a selection of low impact options that allow you to move smoothly and steadily, going easy on your back, hips, knees and other problem areas.

Cycling

Woman exercising on a recumbent exercise bike

Cycling can be a great option for painful joints and arthritis. You needn't get out and about on a road bike; recumbent exercise bikes are the best option, specially designed to alleviate pressure on the knees and hips. With a large seat, reclined body position and pedals placed at the front, you can enjoy a gentle workout that’s easy on the joints, gradually building up your strength and cardio fitness at home.

Swimming

Man at the swimming pool ready to get in

Swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises for painful joints. The water provides a gentle resistance, and because you are more buoyant, there’s less pressure on your body. You could try solo lane swimming, outdoor ‘wild swimming’ or even water aerobics. Unless you're lucky enough to have your own swimming pool or lake in the garden, you'll have to venture out to enjoy this exercise. But it'll be well worth it!

Walking

Couple walking outside in nature

Walking is one of the best low impact exercises for painful joints. You can walk as far or as fast as you feel comfortable, gradually building up your distance and speed the more you do it. You could walk outside or consider a treadmill, allowing you to exercise from the comfort of your own home, whatever the weather or time of day. It’s important to wear well-fitting trainers or walking boots that support your ankle and arch, which will be better for your back, hips and knees.

Yoga

Woman practicing yoga in her living room

Another great option for working out at home is yoga, both for your physical and mental health. Yoga will gently improve your strength, coordination, flexibility and balance, as well as improving your mood and sense of calm. Yoga is truly fantastic for your overall sense of wellbeing, especially if your joint pain gets you down from time to time.

Pilates

Man practicing pilates in his home

Similarly, Pilates is another low impact option that you can practise at home. It involves a series of controlled movements and can be a little more strenuous than yoga. Depending on your fitness and level of joint pain, each move can be adapted. Pilates improves posture, tones muscles and gets the heart rate up. It is also great for your core, which has a knock-on effect on the rest of your body.

These low impact exercises will not only protect your joints, but they will help to improve your cardiovascular health, manage weight and blood pressure, improve your mental health and help you to sleep better. It’s been proven that moderately intense low impact exercise, like walking, swimming or yoga, can be just as effective as high impact activity at lowering your risk of heart disease. There’s no better reason to get started! Which of these exercises for painful joints will you choose?


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.