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Strength Training: Lower Body Exercises

  • Squat: Place the barbell on your upper back. Grab the barbell with a grip wider than your shoulder width. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width. Keep your head up and your back straight. Now bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do not bend your upper back or lean forward. Once your thighs are parallel, push upwards into the standing position. This exercise can also be done holding dumbbells at your sides. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • Strength training lunge: Place the barbell on your upper back. Stand tall and look straight ahead. With your right foot, step straight ahead little more than a normal stride. Bend your left knee until it almost touches the ground. Your right knee should also be bending and pointing straight ahead. Keep your trunk, head, and shoulders upright and pointed straight ahead. Push off with your right foot, return it next to your left foot, and return to the standing position with both feet next to each other. Now step forward with your left foot and repeat the lunge with your left leg. This exercise can also be done holding dumbbells at your sides. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • Calf raise: Place a 2 x 4 piece of wood on the floor (you can also use one of the large round weight plates). Place the barbell on your upper back. Stand on top of the board with the heels and back half of your feet hanging off the back. Now rise up on the balls of your toes. Pause at the top for a count of two. Lower your feet back down. Let your heels go below the top of the board and pause for a count of two. This exercise can also be done holding dumbbells at your sides. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • Leg curl: Lie face down on a weight bench with a leg attachment. Adjust the leg pads to rest above your ankles but below your calves. Select the appropriate weight in the weight stack. Curl your legs up towards your buttocks. Pause at the top for a count of one. In a controlled manner, lower the weight back until your legs are straight. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • Leg extension: Sit down on a weight bench with a leg attachment. Adjust the leg pads so that they are at mid-shin level. This should be above the ankles, but below the knees. Select the appropriate weight in the weight stack. Straighten your legs, pushing the leg pads out and away. Once your legs are straight, pause for 1 second. Lower the weight in a controlled manner by bending your knees back to the starting position.
  • Crunch: Lie down flat on your back and cross your arms across your chest. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder. Bend your knees and put your feet firmly on the ground. Slowly lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground several inches toward your knees. Pause for one second. Lower your head, neck, and shoulders back to the ground. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-08-10
Last reviewed: 2011-05-25
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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