5 Exercise Modifications If You Have Arthritis

A number of questions have come in from customers who have gone through the Unlock Your Hip Flexors program and the most common question is about exercise modifications when it comes to arthritis. So we will go through five exercise modifications that you can do for arthritis. The first four are exercise techniques that you can do that will help if you have arthritis. And for the fifth one, we will go through five specific modifications to common exercises that you do in the gym and how you can modify those exercises so you can get the results that you want but does not irritate your arthritis.

#1 – Stick to Low Impact Exercises

Yoga, Pilates, lightweight training would be the perfect example for this. These low impact exercises put less stress on the joints and allow you to continue exercising without irritating your arthritis.

#2 – Focus on a Low Impact Cardiovascular Aerobic Exercises

Elliptical machine, swimming, or water aerobics would be just few of the perfect examples. All of these things put less stress on your lower body like your foot, ankle, knee, hip, and back. So if you have arthritis especially in the lower body, look for exercises that have less impact to avoid triggering your arthritis.

#3 – Focus on The Biggest Muscle Groups in Your Body

When you organize your exercises, focus on larger muscle groups such as your quads, glutes, shoulders, back, hip, as opposed to your wrist, hands, and elbows.

#4 – Add in a Daily Flexibility Routine And Make Sure to Add Some Warm-up or Cool Down Exercises.

The daily flexibility routine doesn’t need to be long. It can be 5 to 10 minutes that target all the major areas in your body. Increasing your flexibility will put less stress on your joints, it will make you feel better, and it will less likely irritate your arthritis. The same goes with the warm-up and cool down exercises. Warm-up movements will prepare your body for the exercises routine that you’re doing and the cool down exercises will help when it comes to recovery and will less likely irritate your arthritis.

Another thing we find that affects people when it comes to their arthritis and irritation, is tightness. Remember, when it comes to stretching, it is important to address the hip area. If you sit a lot, if you have tightness or stiffness in your hips, it needs to be addressed. A lot of times that tightness or stiffness puts unnecessary stress on different types of joints especially your hips, knees, and back. And if you’re looking for a simple routine that you can go through, check out the Unlock Your Hip Flexors program.

Now, let’s go through different swaps modifications that you can do to common exercises that people do in the gym:

#1 – Squat

Begin by having the stability ball up against the wall and leaning against your pelvis area. Bring the legs out to increase resistance. Run the stability ball on your lower back area and ideally going into either 45-degrees or 90-degree squat position. Raise back up and repeat the movement.


With the stability ball it focuses more on the glutes and hamstrings. It puts less stress on the knees. This is the best modification that you can do if you have knee arthritis.

#2 – Push Ups

Begin an upright standing position, wrap the resistant tubing behind your upper back, and hold the ends of the tubing to create resistance. Extend your arms out front at chest height, return back to the starting position, and repeat the movement.

Push Ups

#3 – Single Seated Leg Press With a Band

Sit on a chair. Loop the resistant tubing under one foot and hold the handles in each of your hands. Lift your leg up, then extend it forward. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Single Seated Leg Press With a Band

 #4 – Plank

If plank from your toes is too much for you to do, you can plank from your knees instead. Begin by lying on your stomach on the floor. Move into a forearm plank position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders and hips. Hold this position for a couple of seconds.


#5 – Walking In Place With Hand Stretch

Begin in an upright standing position and start walking in place while opening and closing your hands. Opening and closing of your hands help when it comes to getting your joints moving. Walking on the spot is low impact but you’re starting to get movements in the glute, heel, ankle, knee, and hip.

Walking In Place With Hand Stretch

If you have arthritis, give these five exercises a GO. We have for 4 tweaks that you can do when it comes to your exercise program and then we went through 5 common exercises that you can tweak in order to make it easier on your arthritis.


Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS