Try This 10-Minute, Low-Impact Workout for Morning Joint Pain

Improve joint pain and flexibility with this gentle morning workout.
Image Credit: massimo colombo/Moment/GettyImages

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning feeling stiff, sore and unmotivated to get up. But taking just a few moments to give your body some gentle attention in the morning could offer joint pain relief and help you seize the day.


It's true: the stronger your muscles are, the less pressure on your joints and the better you'll feel throughout the day. That's why if you're feeling joint pain in the morning, this 10-minute, low-impact workout could help.

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Not only is this workout easy on the joints, with hip-opening moves like fire hydrants, it's also an effective workout for building strength and flexibility.

10-Minute Workout for Joint Pain

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15 second recovery before beginning the next exercise. Recover for 1 minute, then repeat the sequence. No equipment needed beyond a comfortable place to do these five moves — check out our favorite yoga mats if you need a soft spot to work out.

1. Chaturanga to Downward Dog

This mini flow is a great way to start your day by engaging your full body. The chaturanga utilizes your upper body and core, while the upward to downward dog stretch your abs and calves.


Time 45 Sec
Impact Level Low-Impact
  1. Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked directly over the wrists.
  2. Roll forward onto your toes and bend your elbows, keeping them tight to the ribcage.
  3. Press into the palms of your hands as you lower closer to the floor.
  4. Flip the tops of your feet down and press your chest up to the sky into an upward dog.
  5. Tuck the toes back underneath you. Press against the floor with your hands, dropping your head and pulling your hips back into a downward facing dog.
  6. Return to a high plank position.


A chatarunga utilizes the same muscles as a push-up. If you find it tough to lower yourself to the floor in a controlled way, try lowering your knees first, then your chest.

2. Hip Opener

Similar to the Revolved Crescent Lunge in yoga, this exercise combines a lunge with a twist to help open up tight hips. If you feel a little unbalanced, lowering the back knee to the ground during the lunge can help add stability. Add a towel under the knee for joint comfort.

Time 45 Sec
Impact Level Low-Impact
  1. Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked directly over the wrists.
  2. Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand, into a lunge.
  3. Lift your right hand off the floor, twist to face your right side and reach your right arm straight up to the sky.
  4. Return your right hand back to the ground and step your right foot back into a high plank position.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

3. Fire Hydrants

Place a towel or a thicker pad under your knees to help support your joints during this move that targets the outside of your glutes, the gluteus medius. This exercise is another great hip opener that also challenges your core.


Time 45 Sec
Impact Level Low-Impact
  1. Start on your hands and knees on the ground. Keep your shoulders stacked on top of your wrists and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Keeping your knees bent, open up your hip and lift your right leg up to the side until it is level with your hip.
  3. Lower your right leg and return to your starting position.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

4. Lateral Lunge to Forward Kick

This move challenges your lower-body strength as well as your balance. The side lunges will help warm up your knees and the kick is great for stretching the hips.

Time 45 Sec
Impact Level Low-Impact
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Keeping your feet parallel with one another, take a big step to the side with your right foot.
  3. While keeping your left leg straight, bend your right knee, sit your hips back and load all of your body weight into the right heel.
  4. As you press away from the right foot, find your balance on your left leg.
  5. Kick your right foot out in front of you, aiming to reach hip-height.
  6. While rotating your torso, reach your left hand out to tap your right foot at its highest point in the kick.
  7. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

5. Squat to Lateral Walks

This compound move is great for strengthening the quads, which are key to stronger, pain-free knees.

Time 45 Sec
Impact Level Low-Impact
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your chest lifted, bend in a squat: Bend your knees and sit your glutes back as if you’re going to sit down in a chair. Keep your feet flat on the ground and make sure your knees don’t pass over your toes.
  3. Once your thighs are parallel with the floor, return to standing position.
  4. Bend your knees slightly into a half squat position.
  5. Keep your feet parallel and your shoulders square.
  6. Maintain the half squat and take two steps to one side.
  7. Return to standing position.
  8. Repeat in the other direction.



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