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Exercise When You Have Arthritis



The pain and stiffness associated with arthritis can cause a person to avoid any movement. Ironically, exercise is the best way to fight arthritis. Rhythmic and low-impact movements promote joint lubrication, strengthen to compensate for poor biomechanical stress, and provide flexibility to maintain and improve freedom of movement. The Total Gym offers the perfect vehicle to achieve these goals. The “no pain, no gain” philosophy is not one I normally believe in; However, there will be an element of discomfort that is sometimes felt at the beginning of the workout. For example, an arthritic ankle may feel uncomfortable for the first few steps of the day, and as you walk, the ankle will begin to loosen and feel better. However, if there is a lot of walking, the ankle can cause greater pain and swelling.

So how do you know the right amount of exercise? The key is to be mindful. It may sound simple, but listen to how your body feels, assess how the joint responds to movement, and stop if the movement feels uncomfortable. Working with pain is not recommended. Over time, the mind-body connection will be strengthened and your understanding of your boundaries will be cleared.

The following is a full body workout that aims to move through all ranges of motion, varying the pace to allow for greater invigoration, and rhythmic movement to provide lubrication and neural relaxation to relieve pain and muscle protection associated with arthritis to help. Do each movement for 30-60 seconds for 1-3 sets. If possible, vary the pace within the set.

Position & exercise

Total gym accessories and slope

Movement / time

Modification / progress

Cardio pull in the supine position

Middle to top 1/3

Arm pulley

Let your arms reach over your head as you crouch and pull your arms to your sides when you return.

Start slowly and increase your pace as best you can.

Vary the squats in terms of width and alternate right and left.

Adding an alternating plyometric jump to the bilateral jump is a cardio option with little impact.

The arms can bend to the sides, make circles or alternately pull directly up to the hips.

Supine squats bilaterally

Middle to top 1/3

Bend and straighten your knees with your legs shoulder-apart.

Focus on moving up and down slowly, then focus on slowly bending your knees.

If possible, push through the entire foot.

If your range of motion is limited, move your feet toward the top of the squat stand. Focus on pushing through the entire heel.

Back bridge

Middle to top 1/3

Lift your hips up and down with your heels on top of the squat.

Move slowly or at a moderate pace. Too fast a pace is likely to result in poor execution.

Start by pushing through your heels and tightening your buttocks.

Vary the angle of knee flexion.

Squat with one leg on your back

Middle to top 1/3

Bend and straighten one knee at a time while the non-moving leg can touch for support or into the chest or 90-90.

Squat slowly on the way down to improve strength.

Make sure the knee goes along the 2nd and 3approx Toes.

Push through the entire foot.

Start by pulling the leg tight and pushing through the foot to avoid the tendency to push your lower back into the gliding board to start the movement.

Back bridge with one leg

Middle to top 1/3

Raise your hips to a bridge position, holding the bridge upright and sliding the board up and down on the rails while the immobile leg can touch the toes for support, or in the chest or 90-90.

Focus on slowly bringing the board back to the down / start position.

Start by pushing through your heels and tightening your buttocks.

Vary the angle of knee flexion.

Optional squat while holding the bridge position.

Keep your hips straight.

Back arm circles

Short lever

Lower to middle 1/3

Arm pulley

Start with your elbows bent and at shoulder level. Keeping your elbows bent, do the arm circles clockwise and counterclockwise.

Focus on pulling your shoulders away from your ears throughout the movement.

Move the range of motion by extending your arms and pulling them to the side and over your head.

Alternating arm sweater in the supine position

Lower to middle 1/3

Arm pulley

Reach over one arm with your arms by the sides and pull to start.

Move with slow and controlled movement.

Avoid moving too fast, as this can lead to momentum and greater joint irritation.

Can start with a short lever pulling the elbow towards the side hand towards the shoulder

The stationary arm can reach overhead towards the tower.

Switch or do one set at a time.

Static balance.

Lateral seat trunk rotation with high row of elbows

Lower to middle 1/3

Arm pulley

Sitting on the side with a handle in each hand. The arm closest to the base is pulled to the side as the trunk is rotated towards the base.

Avoid moving too fast as this can lead to momentum and greater joint irritation.

Continue to straighten your elbow, then slowly return with your arm straight.

Keep your arm straight and pull it over your body.

Overhead press with side sitting and side flexion / side bend

Lower to middle 1/3

Arm pulley

Sitting on the side with a handle in each hand. Bend your elbow to the side with the hand closest to the tower. Push your arm over your head as you bend your body toward the squat stand.

Avoid moving too fast as this can lead to momentum and greater joint irritation.

The other hand can support the body on the sliding board.

Put your feet on the floor and / or release the handle closest to the base to reduce stability requirements.

Integrate a high row of elbows with the other arm.

Build a bicep curl into the overhead press.

Sitting Facing the Tower Bend forward to row upright.

Arm pulley

With the tower facing the front, allow the body to reach for the tower. Slowly roll through your spine to keep your arms straight and flex. Bring your elbows to shoulder height. Then roll forward while arms reach back toward the tower.

Optionally, pull your arms to the side like a T-shoulder bow tie.

Focus on pushing your shoulders away from your ears throughout the movement.

To increase lower back stretch and stability requirements, sit with your legs straight or perform a low knee position.

Incorporate a curl of biceps while sitting upright.

Visualize the extension through the spine.

Sit down easily.

Use your feet on the floor for balance, flexibility, and / or stability.

Sitting front arm circles

Lower to middle 1/3

Arm pulley

Sit away from the tower, press your arms straight out like a “T” and bend your elbows back into your sides.

Avoid moving too fast as this can lead to momentum and greater joint irritation.

Keep your shoulders away from your ears.

Visualize the extension through the spine.

Sit down easily.

Use your feet on the floor for balance, flexibility, and / or stability.

Sit forward

Chest stretch with arm cord

Lower to middle 1/3

Arm pulley

Holding the handles allows the arms to reach behind the body and straighten the chest.

Keep your shoulders away from your ears.

Visualize the extension through the spine.

Sit down easily.

Use your feet on the floor for balance, flexibility, and / or stability.

Move down on the gliding board to increase the stretch and / or lean forward on your hips.

Split kneeling

Hip flexors

Hip adductor

Hamstring / calf

Lower to middle 1/3

Hip flexors:

Stand one knee bent to or from the tower and place one knee bent on the gliding board while the other is bent and propped forward on the floor (split lunge position).

Hip Adductor: Stand facing away from or towards the tower and place one knee bent on the gliding board while the other is bent and supported on the floor (split lunge position) to one side.

Hamstring / Calf: Stand facing away from or towards the tower and place one knee bent on the gliding board while the other is straight with your toes drawn up.

Can use a squat stand or chair for balance.

Integrated arm reaches for hip flexor and adductor stretch:

Overhead

side by side

rotation

Hamstring / Calf Stretch: Rotate toes inward, skyward, and sideways.

Make sure the knee is straight and not locked. Maintain a slight bend if necessary.

Training for Arthritis first appeared on Total Gym Pulse.


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