Try 8 Home Knee Exercises to Manage Arthritis This Winter – Charity Recommends

Arthritis and other joint diseases are widespread in the UK, affecting over 10 million people. Depending on your condition, you may be left with painful, swollen joints and limited mobility. This can get worse during the winter months, as the cold can make the pain worse.

Not only does cold weather affect our bodies in this way, it can also limit the amount of outdoor exercise we can do.

A study conducted by We Are Undefeatable in collaboration with Versus Arthritis and other organizations found that 73% of people with chronic diseases believe that their physical activity is limited in winter due to weather conditions.

With this in mind, the Versus Arthritis charity has highlighted the importance of exercise throughout the year to relieve arthritis symptoms.

The knees are one of the most commonly affected joints in arthritis, especially in osteoarthritis.

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To keep your knees from getting worse in winter, Versus Arthritis has shared eight exercises you can do at home.

Straight leg raise (sitting)

Sit in a chair with a straight back. Straighten and lift one leg. Hold for a slow count to 10, then slowly lower your leg. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Muscle stretch

Lie on your back with a rolled towel under your ankle. Bend the other leg at the knee. Use the muscles of the straight leg to press the back of the knee firmly against the bed or floor. Hold for a slow count to five.

Repeat at least five times with each leg. This exercise helps prevent permanent knee flexion. Try to do this at least once a day while lying down.

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Leg stretch

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Slowly bend one knee towards your chest, sliding your foot across the floor until you feel a stretch.

Hold for five seconds. Extend your leg as far as possible and hold this position for five seconds. Repeat 10 times with each leg. If you can’t get down to the floor, sit on the couch and use a board or tea tray as a surface to slide your foot on.

Straight leg raise (lying down)

You can do this on the floor or lying in bed. Bend one leg at the knee. Keep your other leg straight and lift it off the floor or bed.

Hold for a slow count to five, then lower. Repeat five times with each leg every morning and evening.

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step up

Stand on the bottom rung of the stairs with your right foot. Raise your left leg, then take a step with your right foot and then your left foot. Hold on to the railing if necessary.

Repeat with each leg until no more. Rest for one minute and then repeat this two more times. As you improve, use a higher stride or do two at a time.


Sit on a chair. Without using your arms for support, stand up and then sit back down. Make sure that every movement is slow and controlled. Repeat until you can’t do more. Rest one minute, then repeat two more times.

Exercise for quadriceps with somersault

Sit on the floor, sofa, or bed with your legs straight out in front of you. Place a rolled towel under one knee.

Press down on the towel as if you are straightening your knee. Pull your toes and foot toward you to feel the stretch in your calf muscles and lift your heel off the floor.

Hold for five seconds, then relax for five seconds. Do this 10 times, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

crossed legs

Sit on the edge of a table, seat, or bed and cross your ankles. Push the front leg back and the back leg forward against each other until the thigh muscles are tight.

Hold this for as long as possible, then relax. Rest one minute and then repeat two more times. Change legs and repeat.

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