LEG DAY #3: Hip leg lifts

To build functional strength, don’t neglect your body’s lower half

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Get a leg up: Use “compound” movements

Prioritizing “compound” movements – exercises that engage the legs and other supporting muscle groups simultaneously – will produce the best results, according to Andy Howell, a personal trainer at Aspire Fitness in Medford. Howell coaches beginning clients to work their legs every time they visit a gym, which for most is three times per week.

Hip leg lifts

Strengthening the hips is important for proper leg function, as hips tend to weaken with age. Howell recommends doing multiple sets of leg raises, lying both flat on the floor, and on your side.

Leg Lift Steps:

1. Lie on your back, legs straight and together.

2. Keeping your legs straight, lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your butt comes off the floor.

3. Slowly lower your legs back down, until hover over the floor. Hold for a moment.

4. Raise your legs back up.

Side Leg Lift Steps:

1. Lie on your side, legs straight and together. Rest your head on your bended arm.

2. Lift your upper leg up, keeping hips stacked.

3. Slowly lower your leg back down and repeat lift.

4. Switch sides and repeat.

Originally published November 2019

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Legs need almost 72 hours to recover from a hard workout, but adding variety to the routine helps reduce fatigue. “I’d switch it up each time,” says Howell.

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