Getting in shape and staying in shape can be difficult, especially for people experiencing joint pain. Many exercises stress the joints and increase the pain that is already in that area.

There are many different ways to manage joint pain and arthritis, such as herbs like comfrey or turmeric. The clothes you wear are also believed to have an impact on your joints.

If you have knee pain but also want to train, lower body exercises can be frustrating.

7 low-impact exercises for the lower body

Fortunately, we found 7 amazing exercises for the legs and core that will help people with joint complications get in shape.

Glute bridge

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and hip-width apart, arms at your sides, and feet bent. Squeeze your abs and press through your heels to lift your hips off the floor while squeezing your glutes. Hold the position before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position.

2. “Donkey kicks”

The key to a joint-friendly technique here is to properly cushion your knees against the floor. Place a thin pillow or folded towel under both knees (or a home gym mat).

Place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips in a tabletop position. Keeping the knee bent at a 90 degree angle and flexing the foot, pushing the heel towards the ceiling.

Squeeze your glute as you lift. Keep your body stable and the knee of the raised leg will not flare in or out.

3. Exercise “fire extinguisher” to get in shape

In the same table position with your hands and knees under your body, begin by flexing your feet. Raise one leg to the side while keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees.

Really squeeze your glutes as you lift your leg. Hold for a second before slowly lowering your leg and repeat. (Don’t forget to pad your knees like you did with donkey kicks.)

4. Bird dog

Staying in the tabletop position flex your feet and kick your leg out as if kicking the wall behind you while also reaching for the opposite arm directly in front of you.

Squeeze your glutes and belly button as you lower your arm and leg so they meet under your body. Try touching your knee with your elbow before extending it out. (Again support your knees).

5. Straight leg deadlift

Stand up straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Hold a bag of sand or any heavy object in your arms in front of you or at your sides. Hinge your body to keep your back flat.

Keep your weight on your heels and you should feel a tug on your hamstrings. Return to a standing position by driving through your heels and squeezing your glutes at the top.

6. Inner thigh circles

Lie on the floor on your back, with your arms at your sides and your legs straight over your hips. With your legs still together, bend your feet so that they point outward at a 45-degree angle.

Tighten your abs as you lower your legs and start doing wide circles with each leg moving in an opposite direction from your body.

7. Sliding hamstrings

Continue lying on the floor looking up with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Place folded towels or paper plates on the bottom of your heels to help slide your heels across the floor.

Raise your hips and extend your left leg outward, keeping your foot flexed and toes pointing up. Then quickly bend your leg back as you slide your right leg out. Keep repeating as long as you can.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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