The 8 Worst Exercises for Your JointsMay 16, 2012 Believe it or not, exercise and arthritis go hand in hand. In some ways, exercising helps prevent joint damage and for others it causes damage. If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from joint pain or injuries, it’s important to exercise, but it’s even more crucial that you do the right exercise so that you don’t hurt yourself or make your condition any worse. Check out the eight worst exercises for your joints below.
- Jumping jacks: Jumping jacks are a great aerobic exercise for burning calories and toning the legs, but this high-impact, whole body movement of jumping up and down can take a major toll on your joints and even lead to injury. This explosive exercise puts a lot of strain on the knees and ankles, and, if done incorrectly or excessively, can cause joint injuries and arthritis.
- Running: If you have bad knees or a history of knee injury, running may be one of the worst exercises you can do. Running puts an incredible amount of force on your knee, approximately eight times your body weight. This kind of impact may increase the incidence of osteoarthritis, especially when a person runs long-term and for long distances. Depending on your knee health, a good alternative to running might be swimming, cycling, and the elliptical machine.
- Tennis: Tennis is a challenging sport and a good workout, but it can also take a serious toll on your elbows and knees. In fact, tennis elbow is the name of the painful condition caused by overuse of the tendons that attach to the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. As the name suggests, tennis elbow can occur from playing tennis or other racquet sports. In addition to overexerting your elbows, the fast and awkward movements in tennis can also cause severe knee pain and injuries.
- Boxing: This combat sport isn’t for the weak or the weak-jointed. If you have bad shoulders, wrists, or ankles, it might be best to stay away from boxing. Whether you’re boxing against a punching bag or a person, boxing causes a great deal of strain on your body, especially the joints. Shoulder dislocation and ankle and wrist sprains are extremely painful and extremely common in boxing.
- Step aerobics: Doing step aerobics is a great way to burn off calories and get your heart pumping quickly. As fun and as satisfying as step aerobics are, they can also cause a great deal of strain and problems for your joints. The repeated motion of stepping, jumping, and bending during step aerobics can wreak havoc on the knees and ankles. Walking, swimming, or cycling may be a better option for those with bad knees or ankles.
- Jumping rope: Jumping rope is an excellent aerobic exercise when combined with other activities, but it may not be the best choice if you have bad knees. Although the impact of each jump is less forceful than running, jumping rope can still put a great deal of strain on your knees if done long-term. Not to mention, improper jump rope technique can lead to knee, foot, or ankle injury and further damage your joints.
- Plyometrics: Plyometrics have been used for many years to improve sports performance, speed, power, and many other training goals. These explosive exercises vary in intensity and include a variety of jumping, sprinting, and kicking movements. As great as plyometrics are for well-conditioned individuals, they can be detrimental to one’s joints if done incorrectly. Plyometric exercises generate a large amount of force that can affect the knees, ankles, and other at-risk joints.
- Stair climbing: Stair climbing is a great exercise for toning up your legs and glutes, but the repetitive climbing motion can also put a great deal of strain on your knees. Stair climbing requires you to repeatedly bend your knees and place your weight on them, which can lead to arthritis and injury if done excessively or incorrectly. If you have knee pain or a history of knee injury, it’s best to avoid activities like this.