• Building Leg Power

    It is winter and snow sports abound whether it is snowboarding, downhill or cross country skiing. The crisp air and beautiful scenery beckon us outdoors. Even winter hikes are invigorating and on clear days, the view is long and breathtaking from the top. If you are feeling as if your legs are not quite up to par for outside activities, try these exercises that will increase strength and power.

    WallSitsWall Sits: With your back and arms against the wall and feet approximately 18” away from the wall, slide down to a “sitting” position until you have a downward slope to your thighs. Contract your abdominal muscles so your low back is flat against the wall and press your shoulder blades and arms into the wall to activate your back muscles. Hold the position for 20-60 seconds depending on your fatique point. Rest 30 seconds between reps. Repeat 6-8 times. Caution: if you have knee issues, limit how far you slide downward.

    LungesLunges: Stand with tall posture, take a large step forward with your right leg bending the right knee to a 90 degree bend. The back knee will also bend as you keep your spine upright and tall, pulling in your core muscles. Hold 10-15 seconds, then repeat leading with the left leg. Repeat 10-15 times on each leg depending on your fitness level.

    SingleLegStanceSingle leg balance: Start first by balancing on the floor with your right leg. The balancing knee must be slightly bent. Keep your eyes focused on a nonmoving object to assist you. If you can do that for 60 seconds, then progress to balancing on two sofa cushions that you place on the floor. If you can do that easily for 60 seconds, then progress to balancing on your bed. Try to challenge yourself but be near something to hold onto for safety. Time yourself and when you have reached 60 seconds easily, move to the next level. Repeat four times on each leg.

    Everyone benefits from stronger legs and these exercises are one method to build power without using any equipment. Incorporate them throughout your day to energize you. To view pictures of these exercises and for technique tips, see our website under “fitness”. Good luck!

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