Hip and Upper Legs

Week 4

Hip and Upper Leg Muscles

You’ve already worked your hip and upper leg muscles with two excellent all-purposes exercises, Bridges and Bicycle Crunches. This week, you’ll work those muscles again with two new exercises: Standing Leg Raises and Running Pointers.

Your stretching routine includes exercises that increase the flexibility of your hips. Tight hip muscles can throw your posture off, resulting in a back that’s too flat, one where the three natural curves of your spine are compromised.

On the other hand, weak hip muscles can result in sway back, where the curve in your low back is exaggerated. Good posture requires balanced muscles, muscles that are stretched and strengthened in concert.

Schedule for week 4

Standing Leg Raises

1.Stand behind a chair, holding onto the chair’s back for support.

2.Exhale one knee up as high as you comfortably can.

3.Inhale the knee down.

4.Repeat steps 2-3 as many times as you comfortably can, 12-15 maximum.

5.Repeat steps 2-4 for the other leg.

  1. 6.Repeat steps 2-5 two to three times, resting between sets.


Variations on Standing Leg Raises

Use your hands to add resistance by pressing down on the top of your knee as you lift it. Once you’re comfortable using the chair, try Standing Leg Raises without support. First try them without resistance, then with resistance. If you feel wobbly, stick with the chair for support.

Running Pointers

You learned the static version of Running Pointers in week 3 of your core stabilization routine: the Pointer. Running Pointers are the animated version of Pointers.

1.Get down on your hands and knees, your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.

2.Exhale one arm and the opposite leg up so they are inline with your body.

3.Inhale both your hand and your knee to the middle of your body, your hand touching your knee, neither touching the ground.

4.Repeat steps 2-3 a maximum of 12-15 complete breaths.

5.Repeat steps 2-4 for your other arm and leg.

6.Repeat steps 2-7 one to two times.

Conclusion of Strengthening Exercises

Congratulations, you’ve just learned strengthening routines for your core muscles. If you can’t do the exercises everyday, aim for 3-5 times a week to keep your core muscles strong and your back as pain free as possible.