A few knee and hip stretches for arthritis

October 8, 2015

Remember to stretch the muscles that support your hips and knees to help relieve the aches and pains from arthritis and prevent injury. The nice thing about stretching these muscles is that you can do them any time throughout your day.

A few knee and hip stretches for arthritis

Standing quad stretch

Top athletes use this stretch for lengthening the all-important quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh.

  1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, holding on to a chair or counter with your left hand.
  2. Standing on your left leg with the knee slightly flexed, bend your right knee so that your foot is behind you. Keeping your knees next to each other, gently bring your right heel toward your buttocks. Then Grab your right foot with your right hand. Hold it.
  3. Let your right foot down and repeat with your left leg.


  • Keep your knees close together during the stretch.
  • If muscles are tight, you'll tend to move at the hip rather than the knee, which changes the stretch.
  • If you have trouble balancing or experience pain standing on one leg, you can perform this same move while lying on your stomach.

Lying quad and hip stretch

Similar to the standing quad stretch, this exercise works both the quadriceps and the hip flexor muscles, prime movers in the torso.

  1. Lie on your left side, using your left arm as a pillow to support your head. Bend your left hip (which is resting on the floor) to a 90-degree angle so that your knee is in front of you.
  2. Bend your top (right) knee to a 90-degree angle, grabbing your right ankle with your right hand and bringing the heel back toward the buttocks. Hold. Repeat with the other leg.


  • Don't straighten your bottom knee. Keeping this knee bent helps fix the pelvis in a slightly forward position that provides a better hip stretch when you move the top leg back.

Lying pelvis rotation

This simple move uses gravity to stretch the abductor muscles on the outside of the hip.

  1. Lie on your right side, using your right arm as a pillow to support your head. Keeping your right leg straight, bend your left hip at a 90-degree angle so your knee is in front of you.
  2. Relax the muscles of your left leg so that your left knee slowly drops toward the ground to produce a gentle rotational stretch of the hip. Stay relaxed and hold. Repeat with the other leg.

Knees to chest

A classic for easing lower back discomfort, this stretch can be done lying on a bed. It's quite helpful for your hips and knees.

  1. Lie on your back with legs relaxed and straight, toes pointing toward the ceiling.
  2. Put your hands on the back of your thighs under your knees and smoothly pull both knees as far toward your shoulders as is comfortable to stretch the extensor muscles at the back of the hips in the buttocks area. Hold.
  3. Then slowly bring your legs back down to the starting position.

Leg Twist

Another comfortable stretch that can be done in bed, this windshield wiper motion stretches the hip rotator muscles, which helps hip mobility and may help ease pain from sciatica.

  1. Lie on your back with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointed toward the ceiling.
  2. Smoothly rotate your ankles to first roll your toes toward each other. Hold.
  3. Then rotate your ankles so that you're rolling your toes away from each other. Hold.
  4. Then slowly return to the starting position.


  • You don't have to be lying down to do this stretch. Performed while sitting on the floor, it's particularly effective when done from the seated V position.

Try some of these stretches for your hips and knees to help keep these muscles and joints limber and to help ease your arthritis pain.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu