Joint Stiffness: Exercises That Are Easy On Your Joints

Regular exercise can keep your joints and muscles strong and ease joint stiffness. It can also improve your heart health. That’ll make you better equipped to deal with complications that may crop up.

Other benefits of regular exercise include:

  • Less pain
  • More stability in your joints
  • More energy
  • Improved physical function and performance
  • Better bone health
  • Improved quality of life


To ease joint stiffness and widen your range of motion, you need to stretch your muscles. Your mornings are good times for gentle stretching or yoga. It’s also a good idea any time before exercise.

Leg/hamstring stretch

Stand, lean forward and reach for your toes. Bend your knees a little to keep your legs grounded and hold that position for 20 seconds.

Finger/wrist stretch

This exercise is to help ease joint stiffness in your finger and wrist. Bend your fingers forward, then backward, holding each stretch for 10–20 seconds each time. Do the same with your hand to stretch your wrist muscles.

Cross-body arm stretch

Put your arm across the front of your body and gently hold it for 10-20 seconds, then switch to the other arm. Next, reach up to the sky with one arm and then the other, tilting each arm slightly over your head to stretch your shoulders.

Neck stretches

Drop your head forward gently, and then roll it slowly toward one shoulder and back toward the other. Repeat this for 20 seconds.

Strength Exercises

If you have swollen joints, you can do isometric exercises. They hold your muscles in one place. They also don’t make you move your joints.

If your joints aren’t swollen, isotonic exercises (movements that work against resistance, like weightlifting) are good for building up muscles.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or any joint condition, talk to your doctor before you start any kind of strength training.

Abdominal contractions

For this isometric exercise, lie on your back and put your hands on your stomach muscles. Lift your head and hold it. Continue this exercise by squeezing the muscles that lifted your head without actually picking it up, too.

Palm press

This is isometric, too. Hold your hands so they face each other. One hand should have fingertips up and the other should have fingertips down. Press your palms together and hold.

Bicep lifts

Sit in a chair with your arms resting on your thighs palms up, hold light weights in your hands. Then, raise them toward your shoulders, bending at the elbow.

Seated knee lift

With a resistance band over your legs in a seated position, raise one leg slowly, then switch sides.

Exercises for Endurance

Just like your biceps and quads, your heart muscle needs a workout too. Aerobic exercises raise your breathing and heart rates. Your best bets are exercises that get your blood pumping and are easy on your joints.


Take daily walks to get your exercise groove on. Start with slow and short strolls if you’re new to regular exercise. Then work up to longer, faster walks as you get stronger. Be sure to stretch before you start and after you finish. Drink plenty of water, too.


Cycling is another form of exercise that is good for joint stiffness. Stationary bike takes away your risk of a fall. Again, start slowly if you’re a beginner, and go faster as you get better.


Water workouts are great for joint stifness. They take weight off your joints. They also raise your heart rate. Water also acts as resistance against your muscles. That can make you stronger.

You can swim laps or join a water aerobics class. Use water weights for some more muscle work. If you are new to gym exercises, check out our gym exercises for beginners.

At Ella’s place, we have excellent trainers that craft out unique exercise routines to help overcome joint stiffness. Join a group or train personally with your own assigned trainer. Book a session today.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment