Today, we’re going to find the right quad strengthening exercise for you. We want you to have the most precise leg strengthening variation that works for your strengthening routine. Let’s take us through some real-life examples you’ve noticed in the past few years:
- You can only garden two hours before you need a break
- You can’t quite keep up with your younger friend on a hike.
- You’re in the functional category of aging, and you’re ready to increase your strength.
So you performed the 30-second sit-to-stand test from the last video and you scored 11 reps that place you securely in the functional category of aging fitness. So why not make a goal of 15 reps to place you in the fun category? So now that you’ve measured your quad strength. You’ve set a goal. Now it’s time to get to work. Here are some variations to meet you where you’re at on your strengthening journey.
Quality Over Quantity
No matter the variation we wanna emphasize quality over quantity. Be mindful to keep your torso upright and perform as many reps as you need to feel that great exercise burns in your quads. If it takes more than 15 reps to feel the burn consider progressing the difficulty and vice versa. If you can’t get through five to 10 reps, whether it’s because of balance or strength or your back pain, those are all good reasons to take the easier road for now. This sweet spot, not too hard, not too easy allows you to get the most out of your exercise routine. I see too many people come to my office, doing 30 reps of an exercise expecting to get stronger. They wonder why their strength routine isn’t effective. We know these adaptations only occur in a specific range of reps because maybe that exercise was right for you when you started it, say six months or six weeks ago.
But after that first month, you gain the strength and now it doesn’t challenge you anymore. Well, look no further. We have plenty of challenges ahead today. We dive into sit-to-stand variations because it addresses so many issues. I see with older adults, this includes:
- Lower body strength,
- Quad endurance,
- Spinal posture,
- And hip strength in the clinic.
It does take me a minute to find which variation is right for you. If your back is weak, but your legs are strong. You’ll need a different variation rather than when your balance is excellent, but your endurance is struggling. So I’m gonna put it out there for you to try your own variations at home. And I encourage you to try them out. But of course, if it’s a little overwhelming, please reach out to me. We can design a program that works for your strength goals, by appreciating where your weaknesses are because it’s not the easiest thing to decide exactly which variation is right for you.
What This Exercise Works
This is not just for your legs, but the added weight will also address core weakness as well. When possible, I like to add a balanced difficulty with this kickstand variation, this challenges, the flat foot to work harder while offloading the foot that has the heel up. Be sure to do equal reps on each side. And finally, a sit to stand with one foot is the pinnacle of exercise strengthening for quad, for the quads and their endurance as well.
Your Health Challenge
My challenge for you is how can you adapt your exercise routine to appropriately challenge yourself? Don’t be afraid of adding resistance or of lowering the height of the chair decreasing the balance on the ground, or adding a band and doing it with one foot. There are many different ways to mix and match these sit-to-stand variations. And I hope they’re enough to get you started and please stay tuned for more fitness-forward solutions to help you in your unique aging process.
– Patrick Donovan