Women with strong thigh muscles are less likely to develop knee pain. A study conducted in 2009 at the Clinical Osteoarthritis Research Program at the University of Iowa found a strong connection between strong thighs and reduced development of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in women. One easy way to build stronger thighs is to add a lateral thigh slider component to your workout.
Basic Lateral Slide
Slip the booties on over your shoes and stand on the left end of the slide board near the bumper. Bend forward at the hips and shift your weight to your left foot. Slightly bend your right knee and push off to slide laterally to the right end of the board. Bring your right foot back down to the board before you reach the bumper. Reverse the move to slide back toward the left bumper. As you slide back and forth, swing your arms as if you were skating.
The lateral lunge is an intermediate-level leg stretch to prevent groin injuries. With booties over your shoes, stand with your left leg on the slide board and your right leg off the board. Bending your right knee, push your left leg toward the left bumper as far as you can until you are in a squatting position. Keep your hips along with your left knee and ankle in a straight line without leaning forward on your right foot. Return to the start position and reverse to lunge your right leg.
The reverse lunge is a variation of the lateral lunge that works well for any level of training. Stand on the slide board facing the right bumper. Put your right foot on the floor in front of the bumper off of the sliding board. Stretch your left leg behind you and let it slide backward as far as you can. Your right foot should be in front of you with your knee at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Slide back up into a standing position and then switch the position of your feet.
Inner Thigh Slide
Also known as the hip adduction, this exercise works the inner thighs; very few fitness centers have adduction machines. This is a simple addition to your exercise routine. Stand in the center of the board and push both feet out in the direction of the bumpers. Don’t try to go all the way to the bumpers or you will end up doing the splits, and that is not the target of this exercise. Contract your inner thigh muscles to squeeze your legs back together until you are standing in the middle of the board. Don’t hop back to a standing position. You may find it helpful to position a rail or sturdy chair in front of the slide board to help you get back up if you get stuck in the down position.
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