7 Exercises for Rheumatics

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7 exercises for rheumatics

7 Exercises for Rheumatics

Are you affected by rheumatism? Here are 7 exercises that can help improve function and relieve joint pain. Exercise should be adapted to the fluctuations of your rheumatic disorder. Treatment with clinics may be necessary in combination with exercise for optimal recovery. These 7 exercises have a special focus on increasing mobility and flexibility. And yes, we fully agree that there are certain bad days you simply can not train.


Rheumatism is an umbrella term that involves conditions that cause chronic pain in the joints and connective tissue. There are over 200 varieties of rheumatism. As mentioned, joints, connective tissue and muscles are most often affected by rheumatism, but it is important to know that rheumatic diagnoses can also affect the skin, lungs, mucous membranes and other organs - it depends on what kind of rheumatic diagnosis it is. Feel free to contact us on our Facebook page if you have input or comments.


Tip: In addition to custom exercises, we also recommend regular use of trigger point balls against tight muscles (see example here - the link opens in a new window).


Also read: What You Should Know About Rheumatism



In combination with these tips, we recommend that you adapt your daily movement, for example in the form of customized walks in rough terrain or swimming in a hot water pool. If you already have a proven diagnosis, we recommend that you check with your clinician (doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist or similar) whether these exercises are suitable for you. Also join the Facebook group for free for those with rheumatism and chronic pain: Rheumatism and Chronic Pain - Norway: Research and news

VIDEO (In this video you can see all the exercises with explanations):

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Easy side mobilization in supine position

An exercise that mobilizes the back and stretches nearby muscles. Should be performed with caution and with quiet, controlled movements.

Kneel rolls for the lower back

Starting Position: Lie on your back - preferably on a training mat with a pillow for the headrest. Keep your arms straight out to the side and then pull both legs towards you. Try to relax your upper body as you do the exercise.

execution: Let your knees fall slowly from side to side while keeping your pelvis naturally - make sure both shoulders are kept in contact with the ground. Do the exercise with gentle movements and hold the position for about 5-10 seconds before moving slowly to the other side.



2. Butt against the heels (Back Exercise)

This exercise stretches and mobilizes the spine.

Heel to butt stretch

Starting Position: Stand on all fours on a training mat. Try to keep your neck and back in a neutral, slightly extended position.

Stretch: Then lower your butt to your heels - in a gentle motion. Remember to maintain the neutral curve in the spine. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. Only clothes as far back as you are comfortable with.

Repeat the exercise 4-5 times. The exercise can be performed 3-4 times daily.


3. Abdominal backing

An activation and mobilization exercise that goes into the backward bending movement - also known as extension.

Reverse bend backrest

This exercise stretches and mobilizes your back in a gentle manner. Lie on your abdomen and support your elbows with your palms facing the floor. Keep your neck in a neutral position (not bent) and stretch back slowly by applying pressure down through your hands. You should feel a slight stretch in your abdominal muscles as you stretch back - don't go so far as to hurt. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat over 6-10 repetitions.


4. Leg to chest (exercise for lower back and seat)

This exercise aims to increase the movement of the lower back and stretch the muscles of the seat and lower back. Lie flat on the floor with your back down, preferably on a training mat with support under your neck. Pull your legs up against you until they are in a bent position.

lumbar Stretch

Then bend one leg up against you until you feel it stretch gently in the seat and lower back. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.

Alternatively, you can bend both legs up to the chest - but we recommend using it only when you have less pain, as it puts slightly higher pressure on the discs in the lower back.




5. Back bend on therapy ball with outstretched arms

Woman stretching neck and shoulder blades on therapy ball

This exercise aims to help you reduce tension and stiffness between the shoulder blades and the neck. This is also a great exercise form to reduce the occurrence of muscle tension in the future as well.

Starting Position: Bend forward slowly so that you hang over the ball - you should feel that it extends lightly in the chest and up to the neck.

Final Position: Raise your body calmly with your arms outstretched to the side. Hold the position for 10 seconds before settling down again. Repeat 5-10 times.


6. Cat-camel exercise

Cat camel exercise

The cat camel exercise is a nice and nice mobilization exercise that gives more movement to the entire spine. It stretches and gives more flexibility to the back, chest and neck. It is a fantastic exercise for those who need to loosen stiffness in the neck and back. Start standing on all fours, then lower your back slowly to the floor before slowly, but firmly pushing your back toward the ceiling. Repeat the exercise for 8-10 reps over 3-4 sets.


Seated back stretching (stretching of the lower back, piriformis and seat)


Sit on a workout mat or similar with good posture in the lower back (it should not be bent). Then place one leg over the other and twist the body to the opposite side - you should feel that it stretches well in the side of the seat and out towards the hip. Increased flexibility and movement in this muscle can reduce the pressure on the lower back and thus help reduce the stiffness of the lower back. Hold the exercise for 30 seconds and repeat on both sides over 3 sets.



Here are 7 exercises that can help improve function and relieve joint pain. The training should be adjusted to the fluctuations of your rheumatic disorder.


We really hope that this article can help you in the fight against rheumatism and chronic pain.


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Again, we want to ask nicely to share this article in social media or via your blog (feel free to link directly to the article). Understanding and increased focus is the first step towards a better everyday life for those with fibromyalgia.


Rheumatic disorders and chronic pain diagnoses can be extremely devastating to the person affected. The diagnoses can lead to reduced energy, daily pain and everyday challenges that are far above what Kari and Ola Nordmann are bothered with. We kindly ask you to like and share this for increased focus and more research on the treatment of fibromyalgia. Many thanks to everyone who likes and shares - maybe we can be together to find a cure one day?



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Recommended self-help for this diagnosis

Compression Noise (for example, compression socks that contribute to increased blood circulation to sore leg muscles)

Trigger point Balls (self-help to work the muscles on a daily basis)


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Images: Wikimedia Commons 2.0, Creative Commons, Freestockphotos and submitted reader contributions.

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