How to Strengthen Atrophied Leg Muscles
Weakening of leg muscles can occur when the muscles are not adequately worked for a prolonged period. This atrophied condition can be caused by sedentary lifestyles, injuries or extended immobilizations. No matter the cause, it’s never too late to engage in a program to strengthen atrophied leg muscles. If you're recovering from an injury or other medical problem, get your doctor's OK first. Otherwise, start slowly and increase the intensity and amount of exercises as you gain strength.
Do the chair bump squat. Place a chair approximately 1 foot behind you. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pointing forward. Bend your knees and lower down as if you are going to sit in a chair. Stop when your buttocks bump the seat of the chair, and push through your feet to return to standing position. Complete a total of 10 repetitions. This exercise is particularly beneficial if you have not worked out in a while as it helps you maintain proper form during the demanding movement of a squat.
Complete a set of step-ups. This exercise helps to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Place a 1-foot high step or bench on the floor in front of you. Lift your right foot and place it on the step or bench; push through your foot to step up onto the bench, keeping your left foot hanging in the air. Lower back down by placing your left foot on the floor first, and then the right. Do 10 repetitions and repeat on the left side.
Lift your legs in order to strengthen your inner and outer hips, and improve stability. Stand about 1 foot in front of a wall, chair or sturdy structure, with your feet together and facing forward. Place one or two hands on the wall or structure in front of you. Lift your right leg out to the right until it is parallel to the floor. Lower it to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 reps and then repeat on the left side.
Confirm with your doctor that you are able to engage in a leg strength-training workout. If you have been injured, make sure that your injury is healing properly and that you are able to put weight and resistance on your legs.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.