Would you like to reduce the risk of backaches, stiffness and headaches while at work? If you work at a desk or spend long periods of time seated, you can easily exercise with leg raises. A simple leg raise can increase your blood flow, strengthen your leg and core muscles, decrease the risk of muscle atrophy and increase your energy levels. Moreover, you can perform leg raises at your desk at your own convenience and for as long as you can.
Simple Leg Raise
To start, sit in your office chair with good posture. Keep your back straight, your chest out and shoulders down. Straighten your right leg out in front of you and tighten the quadriceps muscle. Raise the foot off the floor approximately 8 to 12 inches. Lower your right foot back to the floor and repeat 15 to 20 times. Remember to exercise both legs. In addition, keep your hips level throughout the entire exercise.
If the simple leg raise is too difficult to start, begin by bending your knees to a 90-degree angle under the desk. Raise your right knee up toward the bottom of the desk and lower it back down. Alternate legs and repeat the movement 12 to 15 times. Remember to keep your hips level throughout the exercise and move only the leg.
When you are ready to advance, use a set of ankle weights that weigh 2 to 5 pounds. With the weights attached to each ankle, begin with your right leg. Extend your leg out straight and raise it 8 to 12 inches off the ground. Repeat 12 to 15 times with each leg. For a variation, try a resistance band. Make a small knot in the band to create a loop. Hold one end of the loop to the floor with your left foot and put your right ankle into the loop. Raise your right ankle against the resistance of the band.
To advance the exercise further, attempt a double leg raise. Sit in your chair with proper posture. Keep your hips stable and straighten both of your knees to extend your legs. Press your ankles together and raise both legs 8 to 12 inches off the ground. Try to avoid stabilizing yourself with your hands on the desk or chair. Instead, place your hands on your hips or in your lap. Repeat eight to 12 times. At the height of your double leg raise, hold your raised legs for five seconds.
- Total Knee Replacement and Rehabilitation; Daniel J. Brugioni et al.
- Healthy Weight Loss; Gary Smalley
- How to Sneak Exercise into your Everyday Life; Cornel Chin
Erika McAuley is a freelance writer from Abbotsford, British Columbia. As an exercise rehabilitation professional, she has been preventing and treating musculoskeletal injuries in athletes and civil workers since 2008. McAuley holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics in athletic therapy from Trinity Western University and an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University.