Strengthening Legs

Strengthening is critical to maintain the ability to walk, climb stairs, maintain balance, get up from the floor, get up from a chair, get up from the toilet, and get up from the bed.  

Closed-chain kinetic exercises and eccentric exercises are the best way to strengthen.  Closed-chain kinetic exercises are those with the foot planted on the floor and moving the body over the foot.  Open-chain kinetic exercises are when the body is still and the limb is open to space such as lifting the foot off of the ground or doing leg lifts.  Eccentric exercises are those that work with gravity such as going down a stair or hill.  They are more difficult because of the need to control the body against gravity.  The other type of muscle contractions are concentric contractions that move the body against gravity such as going up a stair or a hill.  

These mini squats and clock exercises are a good way to build strength in the hip muscles.  

Handout:

Handout: