Strengthen your lower body

These exercises rely on your body weight to provide resistance, and will strengthen your legs, buttocks and hips.

These exercises will strengthen your legs, buttocks and hips. They rely on your body weight to provide resistance. As you grow stronger, you can increase resistance by adding leg weights or using elastic resistance bands, sold in sports shops. Start with two to three sets of 10–12 repetitions of each exercise.

Adduction - Adductors (inner thighs)Strengthen lower body - 1

• Lie on your right side with your left leg angled in front of you and the inside edge of your left foot resting on the floor. Keep your
right leg straight without locking your knee. Your ankle, knee, hip and shoulder should form a straight line.Strengthen lower body - 2

• Raise your right (lower) leg as high as you comfortably can. Hold for one second, then lower it slowly to within 2.5 cm of the floor. Hold, then repeat. Your lower leg should not touch the floor until the end of the set.

• After each set, switch sides.

Strengthen lower body - 2To step it up: Add ankle weights to the leg you’re lifting. If you have knee problems, place the weights above your knee.

Abduction - Abductors (outer thighs) and gluteals (buttocks)

• Lie on your right side with your right knee and hip each bent at a 45 degree angle. Keep your upper leg nearly straight and keep your torso straight to avoid stressing your lower back.

• Raise your upper leg as high as you comfortably can. Hold for one second, then slowly lower it until it is almost touching your lower leg. Your upper leg should not touch your lower leg until the end of the set.

• At the end of each set, switch sides to work the other leg.

To step it up: Add ankle weights to the leg you’re lifting. If you have knee problems, place the weights above your knee.

Expert tip: In any strengthening exercise, mentally focus on the muscles you’re targeting. It helps you maintain proper form and reduces your reliance on other muscles.

 

 
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