9 Exercises That Are Perfect for People With Ankylosing Spondylitis

7 minute read

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that affects the spine. Most commonly felt as pain in the lower back, it can be easy to miss or attribute to something else. If you notice persistent spinal pain, and there is no known cause such as injury, then you may have ankylosing spondylitis. As with all forms of arthritis, inflammation is the predominant cause. Low-impact exercises can help reduce this inflammation and improve your pain and mobility.

Exercising daily can strengthen joints and muscles, which will ultimately improve mobility and flexibility. It's also a great way to reduce inflammation and pain. In addition to this, supplements with krill oil can help to reduce inflammation as they contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids which fight oxidative damage and inflammatory chemicals. There is not a cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but with combined treatment of low-impact exercises and high-quality krill oil, you will notice improvement right away.

The Best Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Exercising may seem like the last thing you feel like doing with joint or lower back pain, but when it comes to ankylosing spondylitis, exercise is good. Being physically active and in shape is one of the best ways to reduce joint pain and inflammation, and reduce the symptoms associated with ankylosing spondylitis. Exercise will improve flexibility, mobility, and balance, while also reducing pain levels.

When it comes to exercising with ankylosing spondylitis, you need to remember that moderation is essential. You do not want to overdo it or exert yourself and cause further pain or injury. What matters is to be consistent with low-impact exercises, which gradually improve your strength and reduce aches and pains. Here are a few great exercises for anyone who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis.


This is something you want to aim to do every day. Stretching is critical for muscle health and posture. By keeping your muscles flexible, your posture improves, which reduces lower back pain associated with ankylosing spondylitis. You'll notice your condition gets worse if you have a job that requires you to sit most of the day. Finding time to stretch during the day will be the best way to counteract the sitting, and keep your spine and posture healthy.


Start off with short walks during the day or on breaks. Even getting 5 to 10 minutes a day will start the healing process. You want to aim for thirty minutes a day, but it's important to start slowly, gradually introducing your aching joints to the movements. Walking is a beneficial low-impact exercise, and great for arthritis and overall cardiovascular health. Be sure to only walk at a pace that is comfortable so as not to aggravate your condition.


Swimming and water aerobics are great for aching joints and inflammation caused by ankylosing spondylitis. Because the water holds your weight, you can move almost effortlessly. The support from the water allows you to move your body without strain as there is no pressure placed on any aching joints. Swimming and aquatic exercise have been proven to be effective for physical therapy and works wonders for those with any form of arthritis.

Tone up

Improving flexibility is part of the battle. You also need to improve the strength of the muscles supporting your arthritic bones. By using free weights or machines, you can do strength training to build up muscle strength. The stronger your muscles are, the better able they are to keep the pressure off your bones. Just remember to start gradually so as not to cause injury and more pain.

Tai Chi

This ancient Chinese practice uses subtle and deliberate movements, as well as controlled breathing to improve your mind and body. People notice improved balance, stability, and reduced back pain.

It's important to learn the movements from an experienced instructor to ensure you do them correctly. Mixing them up or doing them wrong can cause strain and worsen your pain rather than reduce it.


Beginner’s yoga is the best place to start, and like Tai Chi, its deliberate movements and stretching can improve balance and reduce pain. The gentle stretches improve muscle flexibility, which will help in providing support for your joints and back. Patients also report reduced stiffness and increased mobility as a result of practicing yoga.

Like Tai Chi, yoga also benefits the mind as well as the body. Start with simple poses and work up to more challenging poses as you feel your body strengthen.


This focuses on stretching and strengthening, like yoga, and benefits overall muscle and bone health. The controlled movements work to strengthen your core muscles, which will help reduce pressure on your spine.

Along with increasing flexibility and mobility, Pilates is an excellent tool for ankylosing spondylitis and can reduce pain and stiffness effectively.

| Related: 5 Tips for Fighting Ankylosing Spondylitis Fatigue Naturally |


Riding a bike is great for ankylosing spondylitis, you can get the same benefit from a stationary bike or hitting the open road. Cycling works your heart and your muscles without putting pressure on your joints.

The best way to increase flexibility is to switch up your cardio exercises. Alternating between cycling, swimming, and walking works best for arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis pain.


Dancing allows you to keep moving and have fun. You won’t even realize you’re working out when you dance. Try a Zumba class or any other organized lesson, and dance your lower back pains away.

Pick a style and tempo that suits you, and you will get a great overall cardio workout. You'll also notice a reduction in weight, along with decreased arthritis pain.

The Bottom Line

Being stagnant only decreases joint health. Exercise, so long as it's gradual and low-impact, reduces stiffness and inflammation associated with being inactive.

No matter what type of activity you choose, you'll notice improved mobility and reduced pain. Additional support from high-quality krill oil will boost joint health and reduce inflammation, too. Don’t let ankylosing spondylitis slow you down. Keep moving and keep lower back pain at bay.

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