Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Lack of lower body strength is a national crisis in my mind.
I see patients every day that struggle to get up from their chair and move safely across the room. A single step becomes a significant barrier. They are all at significant risk for falls because of this. I believe that many Americans neglect to strengthen their lower bodies in a way that prepares them for the aging process.
Why do we neglect our biggest, "bestest", and most beautiful muscles?
Maybe it is because we are not sure what we can do to strengthen our legs. Maybe we think running is all we need for our legs (I love running, I do my fair share of it). Maybe it is because social media makes it seem like the goal is massive thighs. Lets break that mold today.
I want to show you three simple exercises that will start to strengthen your legs and hopefully reduce your chance of falling as you age.
If you are new to exercising these are a great starting point. If you are a bit older these can still work for you.
Start small, be consistent, and your legs will carry you further than you ever imagined.
THE CHAIR SQUAT
Find a chair.
Sit in the chair.
Stand up from the chair.
Sit back down.
THE STEP UP
Find a step.
Step up onto the step with one foot.
Lift your body up and place your other foot on the step.
Step back down.
Repeat with the other foot.
THE HIP HINGE
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
Place your hands on your thighs.
Slowly push your hips backwards.
Your hands will slide down your thighs.
Continue to push your butt backwards until you feel tension in your hamstrings.
Return your hips to the starting position.
NOW MAKE IT A WORKOUT
Turn these three moves into a 20 second work and 10 second rest Tabata as follows:
Chair squats for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.
Step ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.
Hip hinge for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.
Rest another 30 seconds
One cycle will take 2 1/2 minutes.
Start with one cycle.
Add a cycle each week for four weeks.
Building up to 10 minutes of legs two days a week.
Build age proof legs.
Live your mission.