Your legs (Quadriceps and Hamstrings) are one the foundational components involved in locomotion, squatting, swimming, and rowing. Some of the functional activities include getting out the car, standing from a seated position, or picking up a loved one. If leg strength is compromised, then movement can be compromised which could lead to low back pain and/or knee pain.
The following are simple strategies for assessing leg strength.
1. Do you lean forward when standing from a seated position?
2. Do you press your hands against your knees when attempting to stand from a seated position?
3. Do you roll out of bed instead of simply standing?
4. Is getting out of your car a challenge?
5. Do you have chronic low back pain or knee pain?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, leg strength and function might be impaired.
Some strength training exercises for your legs includes squatting, lunges, hyperextensions, hamstring curls and hip adduction/abduction. Note: Jogging does not strengthen your legs!
Strength training progression is needed for optimal results. Progression with these exercises include:
1. Using free weights instead of machine weights.
2. Use unstable equipment (i.e. Bosu, Dynadisk, and Wobble board)
3. Leg strength training with multi-planar movements (i.e. lunging while rotating the torso)
4. Compound exercises: power cleans, squatting while performing triceps extensions
5. Plyometric exercises. (Jumping, skipping, and sprinting)
Remember to master step 1 before you move to higher levels of progression. Consistency will be the key to your success.
“Life is Dynamik, So are you!