People with joint pain and arthritis always have a dilemma. Exercise is known to be beneficial for joints and arthritis but many times can exacerbate pain and swelling. So what are you supposed to do? The key is finding the right exercise.

While running a marathon or climbing a mountain are probably not the best idea for people suffering with arthritis, there are a range of options less intense on the joints. These exercises can help bring about greater range of motion and stronger joints for those suffering with pain.

The key is finding the right exercise. In this case, that means an exercise machine in which you can adjust resistance and incline and one that does not put a lot of strain on the joints. So let’s go through the four best machines to consider for those suffering from joint pain. Remember, exercise can not only help with range of motion but it can help you lose weight and hence decrease the stress put on your joints which can also help alleviate the pain.

The Elliptical

Probably the best one to start out with since it’s by far the least stressful on your joints. Key to this piece of equipment’s strength for helping with joint pain is the ability to adjust both the resistance and the incline. In many ways, it’s even less harsh on the joints than the treadmill, but the motion isn’t quite the same as walking which is perfectly stimulated by the treadmill. Either piece of equipment is a great starting point for people suffering from joint pain, especially those with knee pain.

The Treadmill

Perhaps the best equipment to consider if you have any joint pain but love walking. As with the elliptical you can easily adjust the resistance. Remember, less resistance is better if you suffer from joint issues. For our purposes, it’s not about losing the most calories in the shortest time but about increasing range of motion and making those joints stronger.

Additionally, unlike walking outside, the slight padding of the machine also decreases the force on the joints and the treadmill also helps you push your heels back which can help with range of motion. Just remember to take it easy, go low on the resistance and have it flat. Inclines put more stress on joints and are to be avoided.

The Stationary Bike

Specifically we’re looking at stationary bicycles in which both resistance and incline can be adjusted. This is probably the best equipment to try for people suffering from hip or spine issues. The wide and comfortable sit that decreases the amount of stress put on both those areas. The only negative with this piece of equipment is that people suffering from knee pain are probably better off with the elliptical and the treadmill as the biking machine can put more stress on the knees than the walking motion.

The Rowing Machine

A great easy machine to help increase strength and range of motion in the hands, wrists, and even shoulders. Once again, the key is in the fact you can change the resistance. Start low and let the machine and the movement begin to build strength in your upper body to combat arthritis located to that area. The rowing machine should be avoided if you suffer from spine issues as the leaning and back motion of the exercise puts more stress on the spine than either an elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike does.

Those four machines represent the best of the best as far as gym equipment goes for those suffering from arthritis or joint pain. Once again, the real key to this is to start out with very little resistance and low incline. This is not about competing or pushing yourself. It’s about letting those joints get stronger and taking it from there.