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Lateral Leg Exercises

These moves originated from an email I got from a reader asking for some lateral (side to side) leg movement exercise ideas:

Dear Anne,
I really enjoy your strength exercise posts!  I am looking for something to spice up my gym routine.  I find I do a lot of leg flexion and extension, but I get very little lateral movement in my workouts.  Can you suggest something I can do, maybe that would work in the confined space of the gym (i.e. not running side to side).  I do side leg lifts lying down on my side, but anything else?
Thanks!
-Kris

#1: Lateral Leg Circles

I learned this move in one of my Pilates classes and I love it. It looks easy, but it isn’t! Give it a try :)

Instructions:

1) Kneel on a mat or soft surface with your left knee. Place your left hand on the ground and your right hand behind your head. Lift your right leg straight out.

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2) Slowly, with control, start making small circle movements with your lifted leg. Complete 10 circles going forward, and 10 going backwards.

3) Switch sides and repeat using the other leg!

 

#2: Lateral Leg Lunge

This is another great lateral move to do in a confined space. It’s a nice twist on the usual squat/lunge.

Instructions:

1) Start standing with your feet about hip distance apart.

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2) Lift one leg out and lunge to that side, keeping your other leg straight.

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3) Come back to your neutral position (see picture with #1).

4) Repeat on other side.

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5) Continue to lunge on alternating sides, doing as many reps as you can!

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I also made a video of myself demonstrating these moves! Check it out :) Disregard the awkward pause at the beginning while I wait to make sure the camera is on, hehe ;)

Comments

  1. 1

    um, those leg circles are HARD!! I have been rocking them in the gym! :)

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