The evidence is in! Most people, even those suffering from mild to moderate arthritis, can benefit from regular strength training. One of the greatest benefits of strength training is stronger joints, which allow us to move freely and enjoy life to the fullest!
Joints occur where two bones come together and are connected by muscles and ligaments. Joints also contain cartilage which helps distribute force and allow for smooth gliding when we move. Some joints, like our knees and elbows, operate like a hinge. Others, like our hips and shoulders, allow for more complicated movement and rotation.
We may not think about our joints until there is a problem. Arthritis, repetitive stress injuries, and tendonitis are just some of the conditions that might cause us to pay attention. Building and maintaining healthy joints now can help you stay active and prevent problems in the future.
One of the most effective ways to support your joints is to increase the strength of the muscles that surround them. Stronger muscles help absorb the forces that impact joints and cause strain. Muscles that work well may protect joints from excess wear. There is also evidence to support that strength training can relieve symptoms like joint swelling, pain, and stiffness, improving the function of joints with mild to moderate arthritis.
Exercises that include body weight, resistance fitness cables, or weight lifting will all serve to strengthen your muscles. To get the most benefit, aim to complete your strengthening routine two to three times a week for 30 minutes each time. Make sure exercises are done with correct form, reducing resistance or weight if needed. Finally, include a warm-up and cool down and don’t forget to stretch all major muscle groups.
Strengthening Routine – No Gym Needed
Squats – 3 sets, 10 repetitions
– Stand on the Fitness Cable with both feet and hold the handles near your ears.
– Lower yourself down, as if you’re sitting in a chair. Do not let your knees pass over your feet.
– Hold for 15-30 seconds if desired.
– Rise up to a standing position.
Lunges – 3 sets, 10 repetitions on each leg
– Stand on the center of the Fitness Cable with your front foot and hold the handles near your ears. Drop into a lunge position, keeping your trunk upright.
– Raise your arms above your head as you lunge for added shoulder and arm strengthening.
– Using your front leg, push yourself back up.
Push Up – 3 sets, 10 repetitions
– Position the Fitness Cable behind your back as you hold the handles and get into push up position.
– A modification to a traditional push up is to rest on your knees or do the push up standing up, with arms placed against a wall.
– With a straight back, lower your chest toward the floor and push back up.
For a full strength training workout, check out Prism’s Smart Straps Body Weight Training System which has 12 self-guided exercises printed directly on the straps for easy reference!