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Senior-Friendly Leg Workouts for Strength

Legs, means of transport for people since the dawn of time, are important to keep limber to help preserve independence and mobility. Because mobility also contributes to brain health too, chalking in a few leg exercises will make a huge difference in your daily activities. Because your bone density may have dropped as you age, along with muscle loss, major leg workouts like
pilates are not suggested. Fret not because every exercise is customizable to body type and health needs. Before you start though, talk to a Medical Professional to make sure that your body is in the right state for such programs.

Rotating Those Ankles

  • While standing or sitting, lift one leg off of the floor.
  • Start rotating one direction first in a circular motion five times and repeat rotation five times in the opposite direction.
  • Do several sets of this ankle exercise for both ankles to improve ankle mobility.

Stationary Hip Marching

  • Sit in a chair with back straight and feet flat on the floor with both arms close to the body with palms set on knees.
  • Lift one knee as high as comfortable and lower it back down slowly and do the same for the other leg.
  • Alternate knee lifting for a total of 10 lifts per leg in each set and do no more than 20 sets to avoid fatigue.
  • Practice inhaling when lifting leg and exhaling when bringing leg back down.
  • You can do this while standing. If you do the standing version, lift the arm opposite side to the lifting leg as if you are doing a full march. If you have to hold on to something to maintain a bit of balance, do this in front of a chair or a counter and place the lifting arm on chosen support when lifting the leg.

Toe Lifts for Balance

  • With an aid of a chair or counter no higher than waist height, put your hands on chosen support in front of you.
  • Raise yourself up onto your toes as high as you can as if you are tiptoeing both feet to see above an obstacle.
  • Keeping your body straight this whole time, gently lower your foot flat back on the ground.
  • Don’t lean heavily forward or on the chosen support. Repeat this motion 20 times per recommended set to improve balance.

Knee Extensions for Better Range of Motion

  • Sit in a chair that is at an appropriate height so that your feet are comfortably flat on the floor while knees and sitting positions are at their respective 90° angles with your back straight.
  • Lift the fore leg and straighten out the knee of the leg you are comfortable with starting first while trying to point toes as far backwards towards you as possible to engage quads.
  • Hold it for a minimum of 5 seconds and bring the leg back down.
  • Repeat steps for the other leg for a total of 10 knee extensions per leg per set.
  • Practice inhaling while lifting your leg and exhaling while moving it back down. Keep motions slow without jerking.
  • If you like something more accelerated in improving strengths in your legs, you can add weights to each leg. First start with no more than 2 to 5 pound weights per leg and increase after consulting with a Physician or Trainor.

Sources & References:
https://www.asccare.com/the-best-leg-exercises-for-the-elderly/
https://eldergym.com/hip-flexor/
https://www.lifeline.ca/en/resources/14-exercises-for-seniors-to-improve-strength-and-balance/