Workout Wednesdays – Standing Leg Exercises Part 2

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 2 of standing leg exercises. Check back next Wednesday for core stabalization exercises.


Standing Marches 

  • Muscles: Hip and knee flexors (also working standing leg muscles)
    • Helps with walking, stairs, and balance
  • Movement:
    • Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart
    • Place hands on supportive/sturdy surface
    • Slightly/ Slowly move one leg upright (bend at the hip and knee, foot flexed) 
    • Pause around 90 degrees of hip flexion and knee flexion
    • Slowly lower down
    • Perform on one leg and then switch to other side or alternate legs
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps is too difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Perform exercise slowly, pause at 90 degrees of hip and knee flexion
    • Do not swing your leg 
    • Stand upright, do not lean 

Standing Hip Extension

  • Muscles: Hip extensors (glutes)/ hamstrings of 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 backwards and then back to center
    • 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 difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Lead with your heel, not your toe (feet should face forward and flexed)
    • Do not swing your leg quickly
    • Stand upright, do not lean forward

Standing Mini Squats

  • Muscles: Leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves), trunk (back and core)
  • Movement:
    • Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart
    • Place hands on supportive/sturdy surface
    • Bend your knees slightly (pretend like you’re sitting back)
    • Pause at the bottom 
    • Stand back up
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps is too difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Do not lean forward
    • Do not let your knees go over your toes

Lunges

  • Muscles: Leg muscles
  • Movement:
    • Start by standing with feet shoulder width apart 
    • Take a step forward
    • Allow your front knee to bend into a lunge position. Your back knee may bend as well
    • Push off the front knee and return to starting position 
    • Complete reps on one leg then perform on the other leg 
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps is too difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
  • Key Points:
    • Keep your hips forward, do not rotate
    • Your knees should NOT pass the front of the foot

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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