Arthritis Exercise Knee for Seniors

Arthritis exercise for knee for seniors can help improve your movement and reduce pain. Our joints love movement and joint movement is vital in nourishing and lubricating the cartilage which reduces the friction during the movement.

As we age and become inactive, our knees increasingly develop stiffness and decreased range of motion. We need to encourage more movement as we age, not less, to maintain pain free movement and flexibility.

  1. Quad Set
  2. Knee to Chest
  3. Wall Squats
  4. Hamstring Curls
Watch my instructional video

Starting with our seated quad sets, we gently begin contracting the muscles around the knee into extension, increasing the movement of the synovial fluid and warming up the muscles. Then we reverse and pull the knee up into flexion toward our chest, fully moving our knee thru its available range of motion. Then on to strengthening with our wall squats to statically contract our quads. This a great exercise for general quad strength and stability. Finishing off with hamstring curls to increase strength in the posterior musculature.

Exercise 1

Seated Quad Sets. Sitting in your chair, place one leg on another chair in front. With toes to the ceiling, contract your quads by pushing your knee down. You may place your hand underneath the knee to facilitate the knee into extension by pushing down on your hand. Hold for 2-3 seconds and repeat 10 times. Repeat with the other leg.

Exercise 2

Knee to Chest, begin this exercise in your chair with your bottom to the edge, leaning back like you are falling asleep. Extend your legs out in front. Slowly reach down and place your hands around one of your knee, then gently bring that knee toward your chest. If you have had a knee replacement, check with your doctor. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with the other leg. Remember to breathe during the exercise.

Exercise 3

Wall Squats. Begin by finding a free wall in your home without anything on the wall. Bring your low back and shoulders against the wall and extend your feet about one foot length away from the wall. From this position, slide your back down the wall until a good contraction is needed to maintain your back from sliding down any further. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slide back up to the starting position. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise 4

Standing Hamstring Curls: Begin by standing in back of your chair, feet hip width apart, chest lifted. Bring one heel back and up toward your buttock. Hold briefly, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times on each side.

A good plan is to warm up our muscles first with a general limbering routine. This could be a simple as performing knee marches around your room or home with arm circles forward and backward. Your knee will respond much better with a warm up. You may also apply a warm pack to your knee for 10 minutes before your exercise session in order to increase the mobility of your soft tissue and allow your knee improved range of motion.

Likewise using cold at the end of your exercise session will go a long way in reducing any inflammation caused by the increased activity in your knee joint. I like to get a gel pack from the freezer after my workouts and use a kitchen towel to protect the skin. I will leave the ice pack on for a good 10 minutes.

An important point also is to get an idea of how far you can bend and straighten your knee each day. Try sitting on a low chair, then bring your painful knee back toward the chair. You will find a certain end point to your movement with either pain or a limitation in range of motion.

Arthritis exercise knee for seniors exercise is an important tool in your medical box to gradually improve the range of motion and reduce the pain in your knee. Remember that the knee loves movement, and this movement brings healthy synovial fluid to places it is needed most in your knee to lubricate and nourish your knee.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see other exercises or senior fitness content. You can leave your comments and suggestions on my About Page. Need personal help? Check out my new Academy. Exercise is really your magic pill to feel better and live longer. Remember to stay active, stay strong, and stay connected!

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Doug Schrift

Doug Schrift is a Physical Therapist, Certified Geriatric Specialist, and senior fitness coach. Doug helps seniors become strong and stable even if they have never exercised before.