How To Do Lateral Leg Lifts Properly

Being more of a warm up exercise, Lateral Leg Lifts can be branded as a workout for muscle energizing and stimulation. Just to get those muscles up and running for the day.

We all ought to do morning stretches here and there. Relieving muscle tension after hours of sleep is important because it leaves you feeling good, light and stress-free.

It is an easy exercise to do especially if creating time for jogs is hard or even incorporate it as one of your final stretches after a run.

HOW TO DO LATERAL LEG LIFTS PROPERLY

No equipment needed, not a strenuous exercise, time friendly workout and a productive session in the end. You will only need to support yourself on something, like a chair or a wall.

How to do it:

  • Stand behind a chair and hold the back with both hands for support.
  • Straighten your back and keep your legs straight.
  • Tighten your glutes as you lift the left foot up to the side as far as you can without bending at the knees.
  • Your other foot should be well grounded on the floor and knees not bent. Your upper body should be straight throughout the lift motion.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds, lower your leg without resting it on the floor and cross it foot over the right foot then lift your foot again repeating the motion 15 times.
  • Maintain controlled systematic breathing.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 reps each foot.

WHAT MUSCLES DO LATERAL LEG LIFTS WORK

QUADRICEPS

The quadriceps muscles all work as knee extensors and hip flexors so when you lift your legs to your sides, the muscle stabilizes the kneecap and helps extend at the thigh.

The more you stretch your leg while lifting it the more activated the quadriceps muscles get and you will start to feel a pinch but after a few reps, the burning sensation will kick in.

The more the muscle is worked on the more flexible and stimulated it gets.

GLUTEUS MAXIMUS

Tightening the butt pushes the muscle to act on the hip joint and help in abduction and extension of the thighs.

This activates the gluteus max and helps in strengthening and developing the muscle.

HIP ABDUCTORS AND ADDUCTORS

These muscles are the core reasons you can move your legs in and out. The abductor muscles are responsible for moving your leg away from your body as you lift it to your side and the adductor muscles are responsible for moving your leg towards your body as you go back to your starting position.

Stretching and activating the muscles helps you gain muscle flexibility and strength to progress more in your workout sessions and also just improve your legs health.

ABDOMINAL MUSCLES

The muscles help stabilize the back when doing the workout to find balance and stability while standing on one leg.

The muscles tighten and hold the upper body straight so that you can perform the Lateral Leg Lift with a good form and technique.

LATERAL LEG LIFTS BENEFITS

STRENGTHEN THIGH MUSCLES

To strengthen your thighs you must first burn fat, which is not that challenging with this workout because the workout is against gravity and no weights are necessary.

Lateral Leg Lifts stretches and works on the muscle fat, which after some time, you are left with strong lean thigh muscles that improve your muscle adaptability to new workouts and endurance.

INCREASE HIP FLEXIBILITY

Hips do not lie and a flexible hip means the hip muscles are well worked on and can withstand any tension.

Extending and flexing of the hip muscles works effectively on the muscle flexibility and you are able to do strenuous activities with ease.

TONES AND DEFINES THE GLUTES AND THIGH MUSCLES

The workout tightens and activates the thigh muscles, which helps to define the muscles and give you lean looking muscles.

Toned and defined muscles gives you a swift leg movement and light steps. When on your daily activities it becomes easy to walk long distances and increases your endurance when running or working out.

ALTERNATIVES TO LATERAL LEG LIFTS

SQUATS

Of course, this should be your first alternative for Lateral Leg Lifts. Squats are the best when targeting the hips, glutes and thighs. For better results, add weights and you are good to go.

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and clasp your hands in front of you. This is your starting position.
  • Straighten your back, tighten your core and push your hips back while bending your knees and inhaling.
  • Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Try as much as possible to keep your knees above your ankles.
  • Exhale as you push into you heels and go back to your starting position.
  • Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps.

STANDING LEG EXTENSION

With a number of leg extension alternatives, the workout challenges your body balance and lower body coordination.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, straighten your back and place your hands on your hips.
  • Raise your left leg up and extend it until it is parallel or almost parallel to the floor.
  • Bend your left knee backwards and then move it forward to extend the leg. It will appear as if you are kicking something with your foot midair.
  • Repeat the back and forth movements without placing your foot back to the floor.
  • Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps. Do the same with the right foot.

LATERAL LEG LIFTS MISTAKES TO AVOID

BENDING THE KNEES

Form and technique matters a lot in every workout, this helps you target the right muscles and avoid any injuries that can occur due to bad form.

Bending the knee puts pressure on the leg, which changes the technique and you start to focus on keeping balance. The lift will not be smooth and your back will feel the strain.

Keeping both knees straight gives you an upright look that is comfortable and effective to work with.

SWINGING YOUR UPPER BODY

At first, it may be hard to lift your leg and you may use your upper body to create momentum to lift the leg by swinging but doing that beats the whole point of the workout.

Keep a straight form and try as much as possible to maintain a stable upper body when lifting your leg. With time, you will master the technique.

CONCLUSION

Lateral Leg Lifts build strong hips, thighs, glutes and abs. It is a very reliable workout because you can do it anywhere any time.

Adding it to your daily routine will prove effective because if loosens muscles and helps to prevent muscle issues like aches or tension.