I'd like to ask this probably very obvious and silly questions to people who are into physical fitness, but...

I was looking into getting more physical activity lately and I have no idea where should I start.

I used to play football a lot (as in train in a football club) when I was younger and I always had these problems with groin strains (now that I'm more aware I would say I didn't prepare well enough before training sessions back then) and it led me to drop-off at one point. I didn't do much PA since then, now, about 8 years later I feel like that's the last call to mitigate physical issues I started to have recently.

I feel very weak physically - as in my muscles are weak, so are my ligaments, I also have the feeling my joints (especially knees & elbows) are really worn, torn and "dry" (I hope you know wihat I mean by that!). With that in mind I excluded running from possibilities (and also because I simply hate running which would make me lose interest quickly).

Are there any kind of physical activity that would be safe for my joints and ligaments, yet would help me build enough muscle strength to gradually shift the load from these to muscles, so I could get into move "advanced" and demanding activities (like football for example)?

Preferrably it would be something I can do at home, but it could also be something that I can simply practice nearby.

I was thinking of swimming, but no swimming pools are easily accessible where I live and my tight work schedule would make it very hard to go regularly to a swimming pool. So basically, I'd like to ask for an alternative with similar load profile (in terms of joints and ligaments).

2 Answers 2


Given your recent history and limitations, I think the safest alternative for you is to look at body weight exercises. They offer the following benefits:

  • They can be done just about anywhere
  • Relatively low impact
  • No equipment required
  • Train most body parts

Body weight movements will allow you to build some initial strength at your own pace. Additionally, you should look to incorporate some form of stretching to improve flexibility. Once you feel you've made sufficient improvements, you should consider some type of formal resistance training.

  • This sounds like a reasonable thing. Is there some sort of training routine involving these or do I complete all 50 one after another, each day or every other day? I was also thinking about riding a mountain bike (upland terrains all around), which I did once or twice a year ago with no issues. But I'm afraid it may be bad for knees. Do you have an opinion on that?
    – pzaj
    Aug 20, 2017 at 18:39
  • 1
    Initially, I'd probably structure a routine around a few exercises that fit into your available time frame. Don't attempt to do everything at once. You can add movements progressively when you feel comfortable.
    – rrirower
    Aug 20, 2017 at 19:10

Given your history with previous strains and present joint problems, it is worth planning a gradual re-entry into exercise. Otherwise if you overdo, you'll hurt and have to take time off.

This q/a may give you some good information about the different aspects to consider in getting back in shape. Injury prevention includes proper warm-up, strengthening to stabilize, flexibility and gradual cool down.

Walking is a good way to start. Nordic Walking Poles can give you a better workout while helping to add some support to your knees.

Water exercise is excellent, but without easy pool access this could only be an adjucnt exercise.

Bodyweight exercises as suggested are good to increase your strength and can be done at home.

Cycling is low impact and often good to lubricate "dry" joints. However, you may want to try a stationary cycle at low resistance to see how knees like it.

Hope this helps get you started. Good luck.

  • This is great, thank you! I will take a look at QA. You're absolutely right about gradually pushing myself, since one of the main concerns I have is planning a workout that will quickly make me exhausted and discouraged (or even worse - injured). Would you suggest any particular bodyweight exercises that are easy on joints (knees, but also elbows)? And how many of these should I start with / how long should my sessions be?
    – pzaj
    Aug 25, 2017 at 18:18
  • Actually I just read the Q/A post, it does answer majority of my question from comment above. I will be marking your answer right as it contains the most information I needed.
    – pzaj
    Aug 25, 2017 at 18:30
  • Good luck with your program. Ask questions along the way as there is plenty of good advice here. Aug 25, 2017 at 19:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.