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Lower Body Exercises

Suggested Equipment: Towel, shoebox or step, belt. These items can be used in some of the exercises below.

The following Lower Body exercises can be done in a seated or standing position.  If standing you can use a chair or countertop for balance and support.  When performing these exercises, remember to not let your pain increase by more than two points from your starting pain level. Start slowly with limited repetitions and increase as it becomes easier to perform. 

Warm Up – Maintain Good Posture

  1. Half Jacks – Feet together step out to the side with one leg, tap your toe to the ground and then bring back the leg to the starting position 10 times each leg
  2. Marching – Feet shoulder width apart and raise one knee at a time up towards your chest and back to the floor 10 times each leg.
  3. Hip circles – Feet shoulder width apart and moving your hips in a circle pattern both clockwise and counterclockwise for 30 seconds each.
  4. Squats – Feet shoulder width apart carefully bend your knees, keeping your head up and your back straight, as if to sit in a chair and stand back up to the starting position 10 times. If seated, you can perform chair push ups and repeat 10 times. 

Glute and Thigh Exercises – Maintain Good Posture

  1. Straight Leg Raise –Feet shoulder width apart.
    • Hip Flexion-Forward- Raise one leg at a time and return starting position alternating legs 10 times.
    • Hip Abduction-Raise one leg at a time out to the side and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times. If seated, move both knees out to the side and back to starting position.  Repeat 10 times. 
    • Hip Extension/Glute Squeeze-Extend one leg straight back and return to the starting position alternating legs 10 times.  If seated, perform glute squeeze 10 times. 
  2. Knee Extension – Feet shoulder width apart, lift one knee and bend to a 90 degree angle. Extend leg out straight and then bend it back to 90 degree angle and return to the starting position 10 times on for each leg.
  3. Toe taps on step – Feet shoulder width apart, raise one leg and tap the top of the shoebox or step with your toe and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times with each foot.

Ankle/Foot Exercises – Maintain Good Posture

  1. Heel/Toe Raise – Slowly raise heels off of the floor and return to the starting position and then raise your toes off of the floor and return to the starting position for 10 times. 
  2. Ankle Circles –Slowly move your ankles in a clockwise motion for 10 circles. Then move the ankle in a counter clockwise motion for 10 circles. Switch and repeat with the other foot.
  3. Ankle Eversion/inversion – One foot at a time, keeping your feet on floor. Move your toes out the side pivoting on your heel and then in towards the center
  4. Toe scrunches—Use your toes to squeeze as if picking up a towel with your foot and then relax for 10 times.

Cool Down Exercises – Maintain Good Posture

  1. Piriformis stretch – From a seated position, cross one leg over your lap.  Then lean forward until you feel a stretch in your buttock. Hold for 15 seconds 3 times
  2. Hamstring stretch- From a seated position, bring one leg forward with your heel on the floor pointing your toe toward the ceiling.  Gently lean forward keeping your leg straight until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold for 15 seconds 3 times.
  3. Calf stretch- From a seated position, bring one leg forward with your heel on the floor pointing your toe towards the ceiling. Use a towel or a belt and wrap it around your foot and gently pull on towel or belt so you feel a pull on the back of your calf. Hold for 15 seconds 3 times.

For questions, please call 610-776-3167.