5 Joint Strengthening Exercises You Can Do At Home

If you suffer from joint pain you may be wondering, maybe more so than ever, what exercises can I do at home to keep my joints moving and pain free?

During this time, many of us are refined to our homes and gardens, without access to your usual healthcare professionals or physical trainer to help guide you along the way. It can be very difficult to know what to do when you are feeling pain and discomfort in the joints, particularly when you don’t have access to that expert guidance.

We have put this guide together to help to offer a series of exercises you can do at home to strengthen your joints and keep you moving without pain.

Home Exercise Guidelines:

You should typically start to see some benefits from the following exercises after two weeks of performing each every day. If you feel any pain during these exercises then you should stop immediately and seek medical advice. These exercises are not suitable for people with existing injuries.

Please contact Osteopathy for All or your medical provider if you are unsure as to whether the following exercises are suitable.

Exercises you can do at home

Knee Bends – 3 sets of 10 repetitions (reps)

Diagram of a person demonstrating knee bends

Knee bends are a great way of strengthening your knee joints without putting too much strain on the rest of your body. Make sure that you use a solid wall structure when performing this exercise.

Instructions:

  1. Stand approximately one foot away from a wall with your knees hip-width apart and your feet pointing slightly outwards.
  2. Slide your back down the wall by slowly bending your knees. Don’t let your knees go past your toes. Let the knees point in the same direction as your toes. As you come up, focus on tensing the muscle above your knee and your buttocks.

Thigh Contraction – 3 sets of 15 seconds with each leg

Diagram of a person demonstrating what exercises I can do at home - thigh contractions

Thigh contractions are great for both your knee and hip joints. You can perform this exercise at your desk or on a standard dining room chair. Be sure to keep your back straight throughout the exercise for maximum effect.

Instructions:

  1. Sit up straight on a chair. Slowly straighten and raise your right leg until straight with your foot pointing slightly outwards.
  2. Squeeze your right thigh muscles and hold this position for 15 seconds. For the exercise to be effective, you should keep tensing the muscle above your knee. Repeat with the other leg.

Straight Raises – 3 sets of 10 reps with each leg

Diagram of a person demonstrating straight leg raises

From a similar starting position as the thigh contractions exercise, straight leg raises focuses on moving your leg up and down to maximise the effect on the knee area.

Instructions:

  1. Sit up straight on a chair. Straighten and raise your left leg until horizontal, with your foot pointing slightly outwards.
  2. Keeping your leg raised, move your leg up and down 10 times while maintaining the contraction in the muscle above the knee. While doing this exercise, do not let your raised foot touch the floor. Repeat with the other leg.

Lunges – 3 sets of 5 reps with each leg

Diagram of a person demonstrating lunges

Lunges can be more challenging for some and they do take time to master. Take your time to practice the move slowly and with the help of a family member if you need assistance lowering yourself down. Once comfortable continue to an unaided lunge. If you feel uncomfortable or insecure in the movement then try an different exercise.

Instructions:

  1. Stand in a split stance with your right leg forward and left leg back.
  2. Slowly bend the knees, lowering into a lunge until the right leg is nearly at a right angle. Keeping the weight on your heels, push back up to the starting position. Keep your back straight and don’t let your knees extend over your toes.

Side Lying Leg Lifts – 2 sets of 10 reps on each side

Diagram of a person demonstrating what exercises I can do at home - side lying leg lifts

Side lying leg lifts are great to strengthen the hip joints. Find a nice open space in your home where you are not obstructed by furniture to make the most of this exercise.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on your side, with your legs straight and stacked. Use your lower arm to support your head. Place your upper hand on your hip for stability and to make sure that it doesn’t move.
  2. Raise your upper leg as high as you can without hiking your hip—the point is to keep your pelvis as neutral as possible—and then slowly lower it again. Keep your upper leg in line with your bottom leg throughout the movement.

These are five example of joint strengthening exercises that you can perform within the comfort of your own home. They are not too strenuous but should always only be performed if it is safe to do so.

Visit our dedicated hub for more tips and guides on how to stay healthy at home and stay active this Spring!

Still wondering, what exercises can I do at home?

Here are some great, useful resources that we have gathered from around the web:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/