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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


How can I train my legs and chest around my arthritis?

Hi, I have arthritis and have had a hip resurface, so one hip doesn�t move as much as the other and I have an operation on one of my big toes, which means I can�t bend it much. When looking at exercises, either press ups or lunges, I can�t do them because I can�t bend my toe/hip. My legs definitely need more of a work out. I walk a lot but I need exercises that concentrate more on my legs, plus press ups would be great for my arms.. but I find them way too uncomfortable on my knees and wrist. I have tried press ups against a wall but I don�t feel the same resistance Thanks!


Our expert says...


To avoid upsetting your big toe but to help strengthen and stabilise your hip why don’t you try single leg toe touches - the details, teaching points and pictures for which can be found in the resources page of the website in the article titled ‘Activate your butt, protect your back’. Even if you adapted this exercise into only squatting for a short range of motion or performing the exercise while holding onto a chair/table for support it would still be a very effective option to try.

For targeting the chest with bodyweight only, variations of the press up really are the best option so I would encourage you to consider seeing if you can kneel on cushions/pillows to support your knees. For your wrists you could try investing in some press up bars (available for £9.99 on Amazon and even in some supermarkets). They take the excessive hyperextension stress out of the wrist and nearly always eliminate wrist pain when doing press ups.

If you find these options aren’t suitable to you then you could consider investing in rubber tubing / resistance bands (strong latex in different colours that can be used for working all muscle groups) to do chest press and chest flye style movements.

Hope this helps,


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