Bodybuilding with psoriatic arthritis: what you need to know

Strength training may be beneficial for people with psoriatic arthritis. A person can seek help from a medical professional or personal trainer with relevant experience to create an appropriate exercise plan.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic disease that affects joints and areas where ligaments and tendons connect to bones. People with PA, which is linked to psoriasis, may experience symptoms such as inflammation and joint pain.

Weight training is a type of resistance exercise that people can use to build muscle mass and increase strength. Weight or resistance training can be part of an overall healthy lifestyle for people living with PsA. It may also help improve some symptoms associated with PSA, such as pain.

Keep reading to learn how weight training affects someone living with PsA.

Yes. A person with PSA should speak with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine, including weight lifting. However, the Arthritis Foundation says regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep joints healthy.

Building muscle through exercise can help support and protect joints. It can also improve balance and flexibility.

A little 2017 study reported that participation in a 12-week resistance training program helped improve functional ability, reduce disease activity, and improve quality of life in people with psoriatic arthritis.

Other benefits of exercise for people with PsA include:

  • maintain a moderate body weight
  • increased range of motion and flexibility
  • reduce pain and stiffness
  • reduce the likelihood of PSA flare-ups
  • improve sleep
  • reduce fatigue
  • increase general well-being

Anyone interested in starting a strength training program should first consult with a certified physical therapist or personal trainer with experience related to psoriatic arthritis. These professionals can help a person develop an appropriate exercise plan.

A person can try many types of weighted exercises. Some exercises require no equipment and use only body weight, while others use free weights or exercise machines. The variety of options allows a person to find what suits him best.

body weight exercise

Bodyweight exercises strengthen the body by using the person’s own weight as resistance. These exercises require little or no equipment. As a result, a person can do these exercises at home with limited space and adapt them to their personal limitations. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) also notes that bodyweight exercises are both effective and efficient.

Here are some examples of bodyweight exercises:

  • Boards : Lie on a yoga mat face down in a straight line with your hands under your shoulders and your toes on the floor. Next, press with your arms straight, keeping your toes and palms on the floor. Hold the position, taking care to keep your trunk straight and your back flat.
  • Squats: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes facing forward. Next, bend your knees as if preparing to sit in a chair before straightening up.
  • Push ups: Begin in a plank pose and bend the elbows to lower the body toward the floor before straightening the elbows and pushing back into plank pose. Beginners can keep their knees on the ground to make the exercise easier.
  • Buttock bridges: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Engage the core, then squeeze the glutes to lift the hips off the floor. Your upper back and shoulders should stay on the floor. Hold the position then lower the hips to return to the starting position.

As a person gets stronger, they can modify any of these exercises to make it more difficult by adding free weights or resistance bands.

Free weights

Strength training with free weights can be another option for people who want to get some resistance training at home. People with PsA may find it particularly beneficial if the disease affects the joints in their hands or feet. In these cases, a person can wear wrist or ankle weights to work out.

According to the ACE, free weights have other benefits, including:

  • increased core engagement
  • more versatile than weight machines
  • cheaper than weight machines
  • more space efficient

exercise machines

A person can find exercise machines at most commercial gyms, or they can consider buying some for home use.

Although they tend to be bulky and more expensive than other strength training options available, the machines do offer some advantages. These include:

  • easier for a person to maintain shape
  • focus on a specific muscle group
  • time saving
  • focus muscle development on contraction
  • help control the trajectory of movement

In most cases, weight lifting – or strength training in general – can have a positive effect on arthritic joints. The increased muscle strength can help improve the way they support the joints. However, as with any exercise, there is a risk of injury or overstraining the body.

For this reason, it’s important to keep safety in mind when lifting weights. Warming up properly, using correct form, and working within body limits can help people avoid injury. A person can work with an experienced professional, such as a physical therapist or licensed personal trainer, to ensure that they establish safe practices while weightlifting.

Strength training can help a person living with PsA find relief from symptoms. It can also improve a person’s overall health, help them maintain a moderate weight, and provide direct pain relief.

A person should speak with a doctor before starting any new routine. Working with a personal trainer or physical therapist can also help a person develop and safely maintain a strength training routine.

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