Over the recent weeks I have posted a few different lower body exercise variations to Tik Tok and Instagram. These are designed to improve strength and injury prevention and can also be used to develop muscle. More details can be found below, try them at home when you are next working out. If you are not doing any resistance training workouts right now I have a members area for my online coaching clients with access to 20+ follow along home workouts.

Knee Strengthening Exercise – 1 Leg Wall Squat with Leg Raise 

I love this exercise as it works the tear drop muscle of the thigh on the planted leg which is important for knee strength/stability and simultaneously works the hip flexor of the free leg. This is important as your hip flexors are often weak which can lead to back pain. If your main goal is muscle then developing the hip flexor brings a nice shape to your thighs. The VMO strengthening will enable you to lift heavier weights on compound lower body exercises. This will allow you to stimulate more muscle growth.

@benwilsonuk This exercise hits both the VMO and hip flexor which are both usually weaker than they should be.... #benwilsonuk #thighs #personaltrainer ♬ Insomnia - Faithless

Hip Strengthening – Hip Band Work With Variations

For both rehab work and developing rounded glutes you will see banded hip exercises within most peoples programmes. It is common that you are unable to get your whole glutes to work in just one variation of a band exercise.  You can therefore add to this exercise by adjusting the leg angle (curled to straight) or adjusting your hip rotation angle (foot position together or apart).These variations allow you to target any areas that are weak by working on the position of the hip through the different bone angles and joint rotations within the socket.

@benwilsonuk Adding to your glute band work...most people are unable to get their whole glutes to work in just one variation of a band exercise. These variation allow you to target any areas that are weak by working on the position of the hip through femur angle and rotation within the socket. #glutes #gainz #hipexternalrotation #hipinternalrotation #glutebands #glutebandworkout #benwilsonuk ♬ Miss You - southstar

Ankle Strengthening & Calves – Calf Raise Variations 

A common exercise for many runners with bad calves, but there is much more to this exercise than the basic version most people do. You can adjust the angle of the fibres that are stressed by changing your foot width (narrow to apart), the foot length (together to lunge position) and also through which toes you are pushing through. There is also a difference between whether you are holding on or free standing for balance, the latter strengthening and developing the supporting muscles and ankle sensors. Finally you can adjust the range of motion, leg angle, degree of knee bend or the speed of lifting to target them differently. In combination this will allow you to address any weak lines of muscle tissue that often get hidden within the calves and therefore prevent injury and make them stronger. These variations can also be used nicely to develop your calf muscle size.

@benwilsonuk Try some of these 9 calf exercise variations for injury rehab, sports or muscle gains. You often think you are working your calves yet large area of the muscle tissue are not being targeted which leaves the muscle weaker, smaller and more prone to injury. These variations allow you to target different parts of the calf itself and thus make progess where you previously may have struggled. #benwilsonuk #personaltrainer #calfrehab #calfmuscles #anklestrength ♬ Lets Go Gaming - sofians

What Does This Means For You?

If you are exercising already then add these exercises into your routine to challenge the body a little more. We often stick to the same exercises for too long and the body becomes a little bored. Almost everyone would do better by strengthening their lower body joints and these will cover all of them except those in your foot.  You do not need to do all the variations given but try just one and it will feel different.

If you have never exercised, or just out the loop currently in regards to resistance training then this is as good a time to start as any. It takes very little time initially to get some nice benefits, literally 15 minutes once or twice a week. If you are then consistent over the months and develop the plan slightly you will make great progress. For both my online and face to face clients they get access to my exercise library with follow along home workouts just using a simple exercise band. You can start today and begin to feel the difference very quickly. Contact me for more details.

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