Strength & Rehab Exercises

Looking to explore new fitness equipment or recover from an injury?  Whether you are a beginner or an exercise fanatic, this basic step-by-step exercise circuit will help tone up and strengthen your muscles.  Do the circuit three times.

Stork Balance & Reach

What it works: This stork balance and reach stabilizes the hips and legs.

How to perform: (1) Standing on one leg with a slightly bent knee, activate the core and keep arms flexed in the air.  (2) Slowly hinge forward, allowing the raised leg to extend behind, keeping the foot flexed.  (3) When the torso is parallel with the floor, from the cervical spine to the toe, hold the position for 10 seconds.  (4) Lift back up to start.

Repetitions: 12x per leg.

Squat to Box or Chair


 

What it works: The squat works most of the lower body at once: the gluteus maximus, quads, hamstrings and calves.

How to perform: (1) Stand in front of a box or chair and position arms straight overhead. (2)  With the feet shoulder-width apart, squat down until the buttocks barely touches the chair or box, making sure the knees do not extend over the toes. Pretend a cup of water is on your head, which you should not spill over.  This keeps the torso straight.  (3) Press back up to standing position.

Repetitions: 12x, left and right = 1 rep.

Stability Ball Leg Curl


What it works: The leg curl strengthens the hamstrings, back muscles and gluteus maximus.

How to perform: (1) Lying on your back, place both heels on top of the stability ball. (2) Keeping legs straight and arms at your side to help with balance, lift hips off of the floor and bend your knees, rolling the ball toward you until feet are flat on the ball. (3) Hold before straightening legs back to the start position.

Repetitions: 12-15x.

Step up to Box


What it works: The step-up works the quads, gluteus maximus and calf muscles.

How to perform: (1) Place one foot in the center of the box. (2) Step up on the box with one leg without using momentum.  This will work more of the muscles around the knee-cap. (3) When at the top of the box, you can either step down with the leg or bend the knee for added effort. (4) Lower back down slowly, keeping core engaged. For added effort, use dumbbells by holding one in each hand at your sides.

Repetitions: 10x per leg.

Plank with Dumbbell Row

 

What it works: The full plank with a row not only works abs, but also the upper back and triceps.

How to perform: (1) Lie face down on floor, resting on a pair of dumbbells. (2) Push up off the floor, raising onto the toes and straightening the arms. (3) Keep the back completely flat, as though you could rest a cup of water on it. (4) Alternating arms, extend the right elbow to the ceiling and return it to the ground.

Repetitions: 12-15x per side.

The Lunge

What it works: Just like squats, the lunge works the major leg muscles.

How to perform: (1) Stand with one foot forward and one foot back. (2) For added effort, hold dumbbells in each hand. (3) Bend the knees to lower the whole body to the ground, making sure that the knee does not extend past the toe. Keep a pretend water cup on your head to be sure the torso is straight. (4) Lower down until the knee barely reaches the floor, then press back up to the standing position.

Repetitions: 12x per side.

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