If you’ve been trying to stay fit, you’ve likely encountered the most common type of fitness center there is: a weight-room-centric facility with some tired cardio equipment in the back.
But if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis, these old-fashioned establishments pose a serious question. Can I get a good workout here without hurting myself?Do I know what to do and how to do it safely?
For some of us, the old-school gym may hit the spot. But for others, it bears repeating that there’s no shame in joining a contemporary exercise class or seeking guided fitness routines. These days, there’s a fitness option for everyone—no matter your age, joint health, or prior exercise knowledge.
The team at Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons knows that the best workout is the one that actually gets done. With that in mind, here are five joint-friendly fitness programs on offer in Birmingham:
You may have heard of “Pilates” before without realizing how its low-impact strength and motion training exercises can benefit those with delicate or painful joints.
Focusing on the stabilizer muscles and core strength, Pilates is practically designed to redirect impact away from the joints. Most Pilates studios offer workout levels at varying intensities, making it perfect for newcomers and seasoned practitioners alike.
Preferring bands, body weight, and balance over traditional dumb bells or barbells, Pilates applies smooth, safe strength-training in gradual steps. Depending on your comfort and prior experience, there’s a Pilates class in Birmingham for you.
Barre is a ballet-inspired fitness program combining the subtle stretching routines of dancers with the core-strengthening moves of Pilates. Throw in some yoga and you’ve got a low-impact, full-body workout perfect for those of us with joint pain.
Barre classes are popular for their positive vibe and ease of learning.
If you’re recovering from a joint injury, most Barre instructors are happy to customize your workout for maximum improvement and minimum pain.
TRX Suspension Training
When it comes to the average gym, why pay for access to more weights than you need? Training can be accomplished by the weight of your own body.
In Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX), you’ll use straps to adjust your body’s angle and position. Adjustable foot cradles and padded handles make it easy to manage your bodyweight while performing with a nearly limitless range of motion.
Any joint, any muscle, anywhere, anytime—TRX training won’t load more weight than you can handle.
Getting a good cardio workout can be difficult with joint pain. Even joint pain in the upper body can make light jogging a painful prospect.
Elevating your heart rate doesn’t have to come at the cost of comfort. Spin classes offer stationary bike training in a fun, interconnected atmosphere. The low-impact spinning gets the legs kicking, the heart pumping, and the lungs expanding without compromising your knees, shoulders, or elbows.
You’ll even notice some increased strength in your legs and core too.
With new, trendy workouts emerging by the day, it’s easy to think of yoga as yesterday’s news. Despite already being 5,000 years old, yoga still has a lot to offer people struggling with joint pain. Yoga’s even adapted new styles, settings, and systems since the last you heard about it.
Hot yoga, hot stone yoga, community yoga, goat yoga—there’s a yoga to match every quirk and character. It may be old, but it’s not old hat.
Get out there and heal
Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons know that the best workout is the one you’re happy and likely to do. Getting in better shape doesn’t have to be a slog. No matter your joint pain or level or discomfort, there’s a strengthening, stretching, smiling plan for improvement out there just for you.
To ensure you’re doing all that you can to benefit your body, consult with our knowledgeable care team today.
*Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine.