We’ve had quite a few questions lately about strengthening legs for beginners. Several readers have explained that they’re carrying extra weight and are really feeling it in their knees when they squat or try to lunge.
One of our readers, Paris, asked how she could strengthen her legs when she just feels wobbly and a little weak right now. She’s just starting out with fitness and strength training and would like to do a prisoner alternating reverse lunge but doesn’t it feel it’s even vaguely achievable at this time.
Here’s a quick video to help you on your way Paris!
Just to recap:
1. Start slowly and allow your body time to condition – don’t go out too hard and fast and hurt yourself!
2. Spend a little time working on basic technique – with the wall/ball squats I’ve suggested 3 sets of 10-15 reps to get started.
3. Don’t be too proud to hang on to something for additional support while you’re working on lunges. Lunges are ALL about hip stability! Without hip stability you’ll never do a good lunge. So set a good stride length, weight in the back leg on the ball of that rear foot, chest high and abs braced. Practise lowering the knee and lifting with good control. Speed does not equal quality!
4. Allow yourself time to work on each exercise – if you can’t control a basic squat movement then there’s no way you’ll control a lunge.
5. Combine any leg strengthening work with core training too – a strong core will assist your good technique on all other exercises.
If you’re a beginner that would like to strengthen core and legs try this workout:
Set your timer for 30 seconds of work and 10 secs of transition (or 10 reps if you don’t have a timer)
Wall/ball squats or bodyweight squats
Step-ups (you can use a low bench or the stairs in your house) x 30 secs per side
Kneeling elbow planks
Rest 30 secs
Repeat x 5 or as long as you can keep good technique
Be consistent with your training, it’s about small steps at first to achieve big things! If you have worked at strengthening your legs, reducing excess body fat and you still have painful knees, THIS PROGRAM should be able to help you further!