Muscle Strengthening Activities for Arthritis | Arthritis.com

Muscle Strengthening Activities

Muscle Strengthening Activities*

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Muscle Strengthening Activities*

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Muscle Strengthening Activities*

You should do activities that strengthen your muscles at least 2 days per week in addition to your aerobic activities. Muscle strengthening activities are especially important for people with arthritis because having strong muscles takes some of the pressure off the joints.

You can do muscle strengthening exercises in your home, at a gym, or at a community center. You can do exercises that work all the major muscle groups of the body (e.g., legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms). There are many ways you can do muscle strengthening activities:

  • Lifting weights using machines, dumbbells, or weight cuffs.
  • Working with resistance bands.
  • Using your own body weight as resistance (e.g., push-ups, sit ups).
  • Heavy gardening (e.g., digging, shoveling).
  • Some group exercise classes.
  • Muscle strengthening exercise videos.

"You can do muscle strengthening exercises in your home, at a gym, or at a community center."

Balance activities. Many older adults and some adults with arthritis may be prone to falling. If you are worried about falling or are at risk of falling, you should include activities that improve balance. Balance activities can be part of your aerobic or your muscle strengthening activities. Examples of activities that improve balance include the following:

  • Tai Chi.
  • Backward walking, side stepping, heel and toe walking.
  • Standing on 1 foot.
  • Some group exercise classes.

*Be sure to check with your healthcare professional to see if these physical activities are right for you.