As I promised last week, this week I am going to detail a few ways in which you can improve your strength. I’ve chosen to focus on building leg strength in this blog post and will detail 5 ways you can build stronger legs. As with any training, change won’t happen by doing these exercises just once and change will in fact occur after regular and consistent activity.
In no particular order read on to see which exercises I have picked out to aid your training.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart, bend your knees until the top of your thighs are slightly below the knee. This can be held for a few moments before coming back up to standing. Repeat this as many times as is comfortable.
Equipment: Raised Platform (Optional hand or ankle weights)
Stand with feet apart and jump from the lower surface to the higher surface. Once on the higher surface come back down and repeat 5-10 times before having a minute rest, repeat this set another 4 times. To increase the difficulty of this you can carry additional weights either in your hands you on your ankles. If on you’re ankles it will require a greater balance in order to safely land on the higher surface, work up to your desired weight steadily, allowing for the body to accommodate the slight changes in technique it may need.
Equipment: Bicycle, good cycle paths or roads (Depending on confidence)
Initially go for a few short rides, about 20-30 minutes to see what level you’re at, if this is strenuous it is advisable to repeat this for a number of weeks before you feel more comfortable in the saddle. However, if you find 20-30 minutes is fine, you could try going for a 60 minute ride 2-3 times a week, including a few hills. Hills will naturally provide resistance as you try pedalling up them and as such you’ll need to put more power through the pedals, making it harder to keep at the same pace throughout. As you begin to go out regularly, you’ll improve and find the activity less strenuous. What’s more is there are plenty of apps that you can use to time your rides and give you statistics on your riding. I tend to use Strava, an app that tracks primarily running and cycling, that I can also be used to plan routes for your exercise. What is great about this is you can find users have highlighted areas they want to time and each time you ride that segment the app will tell you your time and how you match up to others. I usually don’t get too caught up on where I stand on the public leaderboards as a lot of athletes use the app, and instead focus on beating my own previous times. It also allows you to follow others, allowing their activity to show up on your feed. Here’s my profile if you’re interested in what I do: https://www.strava.com/athletes/7742503
Lying on your back, plant your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees pointed towards the ceiling. Raise the hips using your glute muscles to lift you, until the hips form a straight line between the knees and head. Hold this for 25 seconds, repeat 3 times.
Equipment: Steps/Raised surface
Place the ball of one foot on the step with the heel hanging off the edge. Lift the other leg to a raised position so your weight is just on the one leg. Then slowly lift the heel upwards before lowering it again. Do this 8-12 times and be sure to repeat on the other leg.