Workout Wednesdays – Standing Leg Exercises Part 1

Cancer

We know that it has been harder for people to exercise over these last several weeks. Christina Lombardi, DPT PT has put together easy exercises to get you moving at home! Each Wednesday for the next several weeks we will share these exercises with you. Each exercise includes descriptive information and a video to demonstrate how to do it. This week will be Part 1 of standing leg exercises. Check back next Wednesday for Part 2.

Standing Heel Raises

  • Muscles: Calf muscles
  • Movement:
    • Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart
    • Place hands on supportive/sturdy surface
    • Stand up on your tiptoes
    • Pause at the top
    • Slowly lower down
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps are too difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Do not rock quickly
    • Lift straight up in the air, try NOT to lean forward

Standing Hip Flexion

  • Muscles: Hip flexors/quadriceps on moving leg (also working standing leg muscles)
  • Movement:
    • Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart
    • Place hands on supportive/sturdy surface
    • Slightly/ Slowly move one leg forward and then back to center
      • Make sure you are squeezing the thigh muscles and keep foot flexed
    • Perform on one leg and then switch to other side
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps is too difficulty try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Squeeze thigh muscles of moving leg and flex the foot 
    • Do not swing your leg quickly
    • Stand upright, do not lean back

Standing Hip Abduction

  • Muscles: Hip abductors/ External rotators on moving leg (also working standing leg muscles)
  • Movement:
    • Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart
    • Place hands on supportive/sturdy surface
    • Slightly/ Slowly move one leg out to the side and then back to center
      • Keep toes facing forward throughout movement
    • Perform on one leg and then switch to other side
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps is too difficulty try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Lead with you heel, not your toe (feet foot facing forward and flexed)
    • Do not swing your leg quickly
    • Stand upright, do not lean over

Disclaimer: You should discuss your health risks with your provider before starting any exercise program.


Christina graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Secondary Education from West Chester University. She continued her studies at Temple University in Physical Therapy, graduating with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May 2015. Christina began her career in outpatient physical therapy and has worked per diem in both the acute and rehabilitation care settings. She treats a variety of orthopedic and neurological diagnoses in her current role as a staff therapist for Good Shepherd Penn Partners. Recently, Christina developed an interest in Oncology. Last year, Christina’s dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and her cousin with ovarian cancer. In addition, within the past year, a few of Christina’s friends have also been diagnosed with cancer. Because of her love for family and friends and her passion for physical activity and wellness, she realized that she could help touch so many lives. Christina joined the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association in May 2019 and is beginning to take continuing education courses to develop her clinical knowledge and expertise. She instructs indoor cycle classes and has her Level 1 CrossFit Certification. She enjoys  various forms of exercise and other health and wellness related activities and topics. 

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