Instead of simply focusing on your quads and hamstrings, follow a workout that is multi-directional i.e, it brings in the hips and inner thighs and doesn’t always make you move in the forward and back plane. Here are some exercises that you can do at home…
1. Begin with simple squat exercises, which work all your lower body muscles, including the front and back of your thighs and bottom. Stand straight with feet in line with your hip. Pull your stomach in and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take your weight back into your heels and lower yourself by bending your legs, leading with the bottom, and with knees over your middle toes. Make sure that you never over-arch your back. Pause in this position for five seconds and come back to your original position.
2. This exercise works on your glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Lie on the floor and keep your body straight, with your arms by your sides. Rest your feet on the edge of a sofa, low table or chair. Lift your torso up so that your body weight is supported only on your shoulders, head and feet. Keep yourself straight and lift your right foot a few inches off the sofa. However, make sure that your pelvis doesn’t move to either side. Lower your leg and repeat the same with the other leg. Aim for at least 15 repetitions.
3. This exercise works your outer thighs, glutes and hips. Lie on your side with your legs directly on top of one another and support your weight on your elbow. Raise the top leg a little and keep your toes facing forward. Make sure that your leg lengthens out of the hip socket as you extend it. Repeat a couple of times and then change side.
4. If you swim regularly, here’s an exercise that you can do in the pool. Keep legs straight, point your toes and ‘scissor’ your legs backwards and forwards as fast as you can.
5. Lunges work on your quads, glutes, inner thighs and calves. Stand straight with your feet below your hipbones, dumbbells in your hands and take a big step forward with your right leg. Bend both knees so that your right knee is aligned over the right foot and your left knee goes towards the floor. Ensure that your torso is upright. Hold the position for a few seconds, straighten your legs and return to your original position. Do the same exercise with the other leg