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Life in Motion

Three Simple Exercises for Your Lower Body

Sports & Exercise

Strong legs and hips can help take the strain off your back. These three exercises strengthen the key muscle groups that provide strength and stability to your hips and knees, which is important for a healthy and active lifestyle. These muscles include your quadriceps, hips, and your gluteus (muscles of the buttocks). The quadriceps extend and stabilize the knee; while your gluteus and hip abductors (muscle on the side of your hips) extend and stabilize your hips.

If you have any health concerns, consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.


  • Lay on your side with your legs stacked, and knees and hips bent.
  • Lift the top knee away from the bottom knee, keeping the heels together, and then slowly lower the knee down.
  • You should feel this exercise where your back pants pocket would be.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions on each side, repeat 2 times.
  • This exercise works your gluteus medius, and deep hip rotators.

Knee Extensions

  • Start sitting with your legs hanging off a chair, bed or couch.
  • Using the quadriceps muscles in the front of your thigh; kick your foot up until your knee is straight.
  • Hold for 2 seconds, then, lower your foot down for a 3 second count.


This exercise combines the previous two exercises into one excellent functional exercise.

  • Stand with your feet about hip and shoulder width apart.
  • Bend your trunk slightly forward. Bend your knees allowing your weight to shift through your heels-think like you are sitting down on a chair.
  • Go only as low as you feel safe and pain free.
  • Be sure to keep the back and shoulders straight and to look straight ahead to maintain proper positioning.
  • Use your quadriceps and buttocks to return to a standing position.
  • Aim to complete 8-12 squats per set.

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