As with any exercise routine, your muscles must be warmed up before you begin working them out. Warming the muscles prepares them for exercise and can decrease the risk of injury. For this work out, a five minute walk will suffice.
It’s important while performing lunges to ensure your upper body is straight, your shoulders are back and your chin is up. Step forward on one leg, lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a ninety degree angle. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle. Slowly push back to a starting position and repeat to a total of 20; ten for each leg.
Lie down with your face to the floor. Straighten your arms and touch your knees to the ground. Lift yourself with your hands until your hands are directly under your chest and keep them a little wider than shoulder width apart. Stretch your right leg out straight behind you, bend your right knee as you bring it in towards your chest and back to its original position. Repeat with the left leg. Complete the exercise ten times for each leg.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your arms and position your hands around shoulder height, with hands clenched into a fist. Keep your chest up as you lower yourself into a squat. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Raise your arms above your head as you come back to a standing position. Repeat 20 times. This exercise can also be performed with hand weights.
Place your right foot on the step and push yourself up until your right leg is straight. Step back down, right foot first, followed by your left. Complete ten steps on each leg.
In a standing position, raise the left knee to just below waist level, move bent right arm forward and, as the left knee comes down, move the right arm back. Repeat with opposite arm and leg. This exercise simulates running without putting too much pressure on the knees. Complete 50 strides.
After completing a workout, it is important to cool down and stretch your muscles. Cooling down allows your heart rate to come down gradually and stretching the muscles while they are warm can decrease the risk of injury. A short walk or walking on the spot is ideal, followed by gentle stretching of each set of leg muscles.
Completing the above workout twice a week can improve the strength of your leg muscles and, by increasing the amount of sets of each exercise or adding weights to the movements, you can increase the intensity of the workout. Remember, if you haven’t exercised for a while or you are beginner, it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional before you begin any exercise programme.
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