Resistance or strengthening exercise is important for so many reasons.  Leg exercises are even more important than upper extremity exercises.  

For runners, an exercise program can help minimize the risk of overuse injury.  For athletes of all ages, resistance exercise helps with your power, strength, and helps decrease the risk of injury.  

As we age a process known as sarcopenia begins.  This is a nasty process where you lose muscle mass and you lose muscle strength.  The sarcopenia process begins in our 40s!!!  It is never too early or too late to work on strengthening or resistance exercise.  No one wants to become frail as they age.  You may want to read this article on how strengthening exercises improve our chances of living longer healthier lives. 

If you have any medical issues, especially heart issues, please check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.  

Be safe.  

Core Exercises: 

Here is a full set of 5 core exercises:  These are great for all athletes, runners, and for most of you with occasional low back issues.  

If Kipchoge’s team feels that this core program is useful, you might too. 

Planks:  Here is a video for beginners. It shows 10 variations of a plank. Once you master the beginner plank you can move on to further improve other muscles in your core with the other variations. 

Glutes/Quads/Hamstring: 

The squat is one of the best exercises we can do. It is important for ALL age groups.  Your form is critical.  Here is how to execute a proper squat. 

Single leg bridge: great for glutes and upper hamstring. 

Glute exercises become very important for pelvic strength and balance.  This is one for the gluteus medius… a frequent trouble maker in athletes and runners. 

Wall Sits are a great quadriceps exercise… and they’re a lot harder than they look.  

Split squats help achieve quadriceps strength and improve your pelvic balance and as well.  

 

Calf:

The soleus muscle is the most forgotten muscle in our lower leg.  It is the powerhouse that moves your ankle and propels you forward.  

Seniors: 

Seniors can exercise too.  If you’re just starting out, especially if you have a history of heart issues, please check with your doctor first.  This video includes a full program for seniors.  

 

Disclaimer:  this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

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About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

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