2 exercises to keep you strong if you have arthritis

Large muscles are critical for support of the torso and making them stronger contributes to improved posture — an important goal of physical activity for people with arthritis. Here are a couple of exercises to build strength in needed areas.

2 exercises to keep you strong if you have arthritis

1. Overhead dumbbell press

Your shoulders get an excellent workout in this classic exercise — and so do the muscles of your upper back and the back of your arms.

  • Sit on a straight-backed chair or an exercise bench holding a hand weight in each hand. Keeping your elbows close to your body, bring the weights up to your shoulders. This is your starting position.
  • Take a breath and slowly exhale as you push the weights over your head, turning your hands so your palms face forward. Lift your arms as far as you comfortably can, but don't lock your elbows. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position, turning your hands palms-inward as they come down.

2. Weighted front raise

Weights add resistance and difficulty to this exercise.

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Grasp a hand weight in each hand, palms facing your body, arms hanging down at the front of your thighs. Keeping your arms extended, slowly raise the weight in your right hand straight in front of you until it reaches the level of your shoulders.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the left arm to complete one repetition.
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