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At-Home Lower Body Strengthening Exercises

At-Home Lower Body Strengthening Exercises

by Zach Kirkpatrick, PT, MPT, SCSLeave a Comment

Normally, athletes would be in the midst of their summer sports leagues in preparation for the upcoming school sports season. Due to COVID-19, our athletes are now participating in online and virtual practices with their teams, with some states just starting modified live training. One aspect that should not be overlooked as high school sports associations plan for fall sports seasons, is how our athletes are continuing to stay strong despite closed gyms and school weights rooms. While working out at home is an option, you may find you’re limited due to lack of equipment and your environment.

To help, here are a few exercises athletes can do to strengthen their legs and help prevent knee injuries. This quick 3-part workout can be done at home using only a chair and adding some tempos and holds.

1. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Prop your back leg up on a chair or another elevated surface. While maintaining your knee over your second toe, slowly lower your back knee towards the floor over 6 seconds, hold the bottom position for 3 seconds and return to the starting position over 3 seconds. If you’re performing this correctly, you’ll feel your quads working as well as some tension in the glutes in order to maintain a stable position in your pelvis. Perform 3 sets of 8 each side.

2. Elevated Single Leg Bridge

Laying on your back, place the sole of your foot on the end of a secure chair. While maintaining a flat back position, drive your body up through the elevated foot over a period of 6 seconds until your hip achieves a fully extended position and hold that position for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position over a period of 3 seconds. If you’re performing this exercise correctly, you’ll feel the muscles in the back of your thigh and glutes working. You may also feel your core muscles working but your back should not hurt. Perform 3 sets of 8 each side.

3. Side Plank Clams

Start on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your thighs at a 45 degree angle. Keeping your feet together, push your forearm and knee into the ground to lift your hips up. While keeping this position, perform a clam shell by lifting the top knee as high as your can maintain control and then slowly return to the starting position. If you’re doing this correctly, you’ll feel the shoulder, core and both sides of your hips working. Perform 3 sets of 15 each side.

If you’re looking for more exercises to help keep you strong and prevent injuries when the sports season does return, don’t hesitate to request an appointment at your local Athletico. Our team is available to help both in-clinic and virtually through our telehealth platform.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Zach Kirkpatrick is a physical therapist and clinic manager with a passion for treating various athletes ranging from football to baseball players and Olympic lifting and CrossFit. Follow Zach to receive advice on how to recover from injuries, prepare for upcoming sports seasons, or strength and conditioning topics, so you don't feel lost when it comes to returning from sport or getting into a new fitness adventure.

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