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3 Flexibility Exercises to Increase Joint Mobility

Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on November 18, 2021

When you live with psoriatic arthritis, maintaining flexibility is a great way to overcome stiffness. When you have a wider range of motion, you relieve stiffness and pressure in your joints. When you incorporate flexibility exercises into your routine, keep in mind that consistency is key. For the best results, you should dedicate some time each day to a low-impact exercise for psoriatic arthritis.

Over time, you’ll feel a difference in your psoriatic arthritis symptoms. If you skip exercises, your symptoms may worsen. Don’t get discouraged! Pick back up with your exercise routine and keep going. Incorporate these three exercises to improve your flexibility with psoriatic arthritis.

Yoga. When you practice yoga, you get a full-body exercise. Yoga practice for psoriatic arthritis is low impact and uses your body weight for building strength. Holding poses for a long period of time is a great way to incorporate static stretching while also increasing muscle mass.

Yoga is especially great for psoriatic arthritis because there are modifications you can do for various poses. If a stretch or pose is too difficult, ask your instructor how you can do it differently to alleviate pain or pressure. You want to take it slow, though, even with yoga. Don’t push yourself too far too fast, or you can do more harm than good.

A bonus factor with yoga is that it’s great for your mind, too. Practicing yoga can help you relieve stress, which also improves psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

Tai chi. This exercise regimen is designed as a form of self-defense. With a focus on paying attention to slow and purposeful movement, tai chi is low-impact and great for building flexibility. Tai chi for psoriatic arthritis is a great way to increase strength in your legs, overall flexibility, range of motion in your joints, and reflexes.

If there isn’t a Tai chi class in your community, look for video classes online. You may be able to stream a live class or watch a prerecorded Tai chi class when it’s convenient for you.

Stretching with resistance bands. Experts say that dynamic stretches are better than static stretches when you want to address stiffness. When you practice dynamic stretching, you move through stretches instead of holding them for an extended length of time. You can add resistance bands to your psoriatic arthritis exercise routine to build both strength and flexibility.

Start out with a lightweight resistance band that offers a slight challenge without causing harm. It’s important to use slow and controlled movements. If a particular exercise causes you pain, stop using the resistance bands until you build up strength.

For your upper body, hold a resistance band in your two hands with your arms extended in front of your body parallel to the floor. Pull your hands apart and work out your:

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Biceps

For your legs, lay with your back flat on the floor with the resistance band looped around your left foot. Use your left hand to hold the band steady and fully extend your leg. After stretching one leg, switch to the other side and repeat the sequence. This exercise engages all of your leg muscles, your hips, and even abdominal muscles.