Get Stronger! (Part 2/4)


Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals. -James Naismith

This post is part 2 of a 4 part series on body strengthening exercises. Please see the December 2017 post for part 1 which outlined 4 effective non-weight bearing exercises for the lower body. This post will describe 4 weight bearing exercises for the legs. Parts 3 and 4 of this series coming in February and March 2018 will outline upper body strengthening exercises.

Guidelines

Strengthening exercises do have a risk of being too challenging and with this in mind need to approached with common-sense. The exercises I have outlined below are intended for someone who is new to lower body exercise and are safe for most people to do. That said, if you have any pain beyond mild discomfort when you do the following exercises, or if that discomfort does not improve in subsequent workouts, or if there is any reason you feel you should not do them (recent injury or trauma, pregnancy etc.) please do not do them and see a qualified health professional for specific advice.

Movements should be slow and controlled and returned to the start position.

These exercises are done for both legs. Begin by doing 8 repetitions per set, 2 sets per work out. Add repetitions to your sets as your strength increases.

Lunge Pump

-Start with feet in tandem 24-36 inches apart. Slowly drop your pelvis, pushing your hips back, bending your knees and flexing your rear ankle. Try to keep your front knee behind your toes as you do this. Pump your body up and down 8 inches. Reverse foot position and repeat.

Hip Hinge/Squat

-Start with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart. Slowly drop your body by pushing your hips backward, bending your knees and keeping your feet flat on the floor. Drop your body so your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Twist Squats

-Same movement as the Hip Hinges except as you go down rotate your upper body to one side while keeping your hips and pelvis facing forward. This may be done with or without a medicine ball. Return to the start position and repeat 8 times each direction.

One Leg Heel Raises

In a standing position, face and place your hands on a wall. Your knees and feet should be 10 inches from the wall. Now raise your left leg off the ground slightly so you are standing on your right leg. Now with keeping your toes down, raise your right heel and push your knee up and towards the wall. Reverse and repeat with the other leg.

These 4 exercises are meant to be done in combination with the Hip Series outlined in part 1. Aim for 2 sessions of each per week.

Next month look for my post on upper body strengthening exercises.

I hope this helps you. Thanks for reading!

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