Lifting weights or resistance training offers numerous benefits to help manage arthritis pain.
Lifting weights or resistance training offers numerous benefits to help you manage your arthritis pain. Exercise keeps muscles around your affected joints strong, lubricates joints, decreases bone loss and helps control joint swelling and pain.
Weightlifting may sound intimidating, but it can be done with proper preparation and without extensive equipment by incorporating everyday items.
Before you start
Warming up is an essential part of your exercise routine, Your warm-up period may include walking or riding a stationary bike as well as some gentle stretching to help get your muscles loose.
After you’ve warmed up and stretched, try these weight-lifting exercises to get started:
Legs and biceps:
Hold a 400 - 450g soup can in each hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, palms facing forward. Bend knees (keep knees and feet pointed straight ahead) and squat by slowly lowering hips toward floor (stay within a pain-free zone). Pause at the bottom, slowly return to starting position. Now perform a biceps curl by bending elbows and bringing soup cans up toward shoulders and back down. Repeat this combination 10 to 15 times.
Back and triceps:
Hold a 400 - 450g soup can in each hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward slightly at the waist, arms hanging down toward ground (keep abdominals tight). Bend elbows and bring them up toward the ceiling while you squeeze shoulder blades together, hold and then straighten arms, extending hands behind you. Return to starting position by bending elbows back. Repeat this sequence 10 to 15 times.
Chest and calves:
Stand facing a wall approximately 2 feet away and lean forward, placing hands on the wall at chest height. Keeping legs straight, bend elbows and lower upper body toward the wall into a push-up; pause, slowly straighten arms (do not lock elbows) and return to starting position. Now perform a calf raise by standing up on the balls of your feet; pause and then lower heels back down. Repeat push-up and calf raise sequence 10 to 15 times.