Do you want to get in shape but do not have time for a strenuous workout? Or maybe you're recovering from an injury and need low impact leg exercises that won't aggravate your condition. Either way, we've got you covered!
This blog post will discuss ten easy, low impact leg exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment. So please put on your sneakers, and let's get started!
Warming-Up to Prevent Injuries
Make sure to warm up thoroughly before commencing any leg exercises routine to prevent injury and muscle soreness. Static stretching, where you hold a stretch for a set amount of time, can increase your chance of injury, so begin with dynamic movements.
Before you begin your workout, take a few minutes to warm up. Focus first on major muscle groups like your hamstrings when warming up.
Do a dynamic warmup where you begin at a low and slow space, then gradually increase the speed and intensity of your chosen exercise. While light sweating may occur during a warmup, you should not become exhausted due to it.
Here are a few warm up activities before you start any low impact workout:
- Brisk walk and walk slowly for five to ten minutes
- Run and walk briskly for five to 10 minutes
- Swim slowly at first and then increase the speed as you gain strength
10 Low Impact Leg Exercises
1: Bodyweight Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Lower your body down into a squatting position, keeping your knees behind your toes. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 repetitions.
2: Glute Bridges
Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and legs bent to 90 degrees. Drive your heels into the ground, and lift your torso and upper legs into the air, extending your hips until your thighs and torso are in line. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge for two seconds, and then slowly lower your body back to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions.
3: Fire Hydrants
Start on all fours with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your hands flat on the ground. Lift your left leg up to the side, keeping your knee bent to 90 degrees. Hold for two seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg. Alternate sides for 10-12 repetitions on each side.
4: Side Leg Lifts
Lie on your left side with your legs straight and prop yourself up on your left elbow. Keeping your legs straight, lift your right leg about 12 inches off the ground. Hold for two seconds, and lower it back to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions on each side.
5: Hamstring Curls with Resistance Band
Anchor a resistance band around a sturdy post or piece of furniture. Lie on your back with your legs straight and place the band around your ankles. Curl your legs towards your butt and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions.
6: Standing Calf Raises
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise your heels, standing on your toes. Slowly lower back down to the starting position and repeat 10-12 repetitions.
7: Wall Sits
Stand with your back against a wall and slide down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and your back is flat against the wall. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute, and slowly stand back up. Repeat for three sets.
Stand in front of a stool or box about 12 inches high. Place your right foot on the chair and press down, driving your left leg until both legs are straight. Lower back down to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Alternate sides for 10-12 repetitions on each side.
9: Lunge with Twist
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg, lowering your body until both legs are bent at 90 degrees. As you step forward, twist your torso to the right. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Alternate sides for 10-12 repetitions on each side.
10: Skater Hops
Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Hop to the right, landing on your right foot and bringing your left leg behind you. Immediately hop to the left, landing on your left foot and bringing your right leg behind you. Continue hopping back and forth for 30 seconds to one minute.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise has been shown to improve moods by releasing endorphins, which are hormones that positively affect the brain. Endorphins are often referred to as "the happy hormone" because they produce feelings of happiness and euphoria.
In addition to improving your mood, exercise also increases energy levels. When you exercise, your body releases adrenaline and other hormones that give you a burst of energy.
Finally, regular exercise can also help you sleep better. When you exercise, your body temperature rises and then falls, which signals to your body that it's time to sleep.
If you want to keep your weight in check and lower your chance of developing health issues like diabetes and heart disease, low impact leg exercises can help you achieve the recommended 150 minutes of weekly activity.
You may also do a low impact workout at home to be active if you want a break from intensive exercises or if you have a health condition that limits your ability to perform at greater intensities.
Strength, flexibility, and balance can be boosted by low impact leg exercises. So if you're looking for an excuse to start exercising regularly, there are plenty of good ones! Give it a try and see how you feel. You might be surprised at how much better you feel physically and mentally.