Lower Body Routine
Estimated time: 35-45 minutes
- Equipment: Shoes and a safe, preferably paved surface to run on
Running is a great exercise that increases stamina and promotes heart health. I personally recommend running a distance within the range of 1.5-3 miles. Of course, if comfortable or desired, you can always run more. If you are just beginning to run, start on the lower end of this range, and as you advance and grow accustomed to running, add more distance. Try to keep the intensity up, which may require you to run/jog at a quick pace, depending on distance and current fitness level.
- Equipment: Relatively level surface
Following a run and a short break, lunges are a great follow up exercise. Running is a good exercise that, outside of sprinting, does not really include a wide range of motion, since the thighs and knees generally do not move very much laterally. Lunges compensate for this by requiring you to use a much wider range of motion. Lunges are also a different sort of exercise that work out your legs differently than jogging does. To perform a lunge, begin by standing up straight with your hands in one of three positions: behind your head, in front of you (as if you are running), or by your side. Next, take a larger than normal step forward and bend your legs, so that the knee of the leg behind you just about touches the ground. Afterwards, use your legs to push yourself back up to a standing position while bringing your back foot up next to your front foot. Repeat this process, but this time, put the original back foot out in front instead. I consider this whole process as 2 lunges (one lunge per leg). Aim to perform around 3 sets of 20-30 lunges.
Exercises for the Calf muscle and Tibialis Anterior muscle
- Equipment: Just yourself
For both exercises, start by standing straight up with your feet flat on the ground.
To exercise your calf muscle, do a calf raise by simple shifting your weight to the balls/toe-end of your feet and lift your heels off the ground. This action is basically like tippy-toeing. Once your heel is raised as high as possible, slowly lower your heels back to the ground. This is one calf raise. Aim for around 50-60 calf raises per set.
The Tibialis Anterior muscle is somewhat like the “opposite” of your calf muscle. Instead of raising your heel off the ground, the Tibialis Anterior helps raise your toes off the ground. Exercising this muscle is important for preventing leg injury. What I suggest for a simple exercise to work this muscle is to raise your toes and front half of your feet off the ground as high as possible, and then lower your feet and toes back on the floor. Do this about 80-100 times.
**Repeat the series of lunges and Calf/Tibialis Anterior exercises 2 more times**
~Written by James Wu