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Personal Trainers with RA Experience

Hi everyone,

I just wondered whether anyone had recommendations for (online/virtual) personal trainers that had experience with clients that have RA? I’ve contacted a couple over lockdown but there seems to be an emphasis on really high intensity workouts and ‘pushing yourself to your (as in, an able person’s) limit’ which is just no good to me as even though day to day I’m fairly mobile I don’t want to trigger a flare up. Similarly the workouts I’ve found in YouTube etc seem to be a bit tooooo low impact (I wouldn’t need to be seated for instance).

I wouldn’t have thought it’d be so hard to find something somewhere in between the two, so any recommendations for people offering virtual sessions would be very much appreciated.

Ta all! X


  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 1,172 ✭✭✭✭

    Have a look at https://community.versusarthritis.org/categories/letsmove personally I am too far gone for exercise so cannot recommend anything myself.

  • Hi, I have hip osteoarthritis and have trained with different PTs for years in various gyms. I have yet to find one that really understands arthritis and appreciates the physical limitations that come with it. They all tend to want to push you and consequently I've suffered flare-ups with every single trainer I've ever worked with. Following my last gym training injury 18 months ago I took the decision to stop working with PTs and switch instead to physios. I have found this a far more fruitful relationship. I do around 6 fortnightly sessions with a physio. They will create an individual exercise plan for me that I can then do myself at home or in the gym (when they're open). Any problems after my block of sessions has ended I'll go back in for more sessions to fine tune my programmes or sort out any issues. With their medical background I've found physios to have a much better understanding of joint and muscular issues, and an ability to apply that knowledge to my own individual circumstances. Good luck with the search. I'm sure there are some great PTs out there for those with arthritis, it's just finding them.

  • Shell_HShell_H Posts: 232 mod

    Hi @TraceyS - Welcome to the online community!

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience with PTs and Physios in your first post. Exercise is incredibly helpful to those of us with arthritis, but finding someone who can help with exercise and still keep in mind your physical limitations is exceedingly hard. I think it's to do with the attitude towards pain - if you're healthy and attempting to get into shape, then pushing yourself until it hurts and then keeping going a bit more is actually beneficial, yet when you have arthritis then this attitude is exceedingly detrimental and causes worsening and flare ups, as you said.

    I'm going to admit to being a gamer, and say I've found Ring Fit on the Nintendo Switch to be very helpful. You can choose the exercises you want to do, there is good examples and teaching, and you can choose a low impact option (of doing squats instead of jogging on the spot). I've struggled to find a PT in a gym or similar who helped me properly. Your suggestion of finding a physio instead of a PT is a good one!

    I have to admit I'm making the assumption you've had OA in your hip for a while and mostly know what you're up to, but I'm linking our page about it here so you can have a quick read if you want a refresher or see if there are new ideas you could use yourself: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip | Hip pain | Versus Arthritis.

    Have you tried Let's move with Leon? I'd be really interested to know what a more active person's thoughts are on it.

    It's lovely to meet you!


  • Thanks Shell. Appreciate your reply. Thanks too for the article link. I'll have a read. Yes I have signed up to Leon's programme and did my first run through of week 1 yesterday. I love it! It was useful to get mobility ideas for joints other than hips as I don't have that many. So glad I found this arthritis community!

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