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1. Stand tall with your knees bent slightly. Your feet should be slightly farther apart than your hips and your arms stretched out in front of you.

2. Inhale as you bend your knees and slowly lower your butt as if you were about to sit on a chair, but only go halfway to the chair. The movement is similar to the way you squat over a toilet without sitting down.

3. Exhale as you lift your butt and straighten your legs. Squeeze your glutes as you return to standing. Repeat 8 to 10 times. This is 1 set.


Don't do a full squat where you bring your butt to your heels. This movement strains your knees and can cause injury.

Keep your weight over your heels (don't lean forward), and make sure your knees don't move past your feet as you squat.

If you find it hard to keep proper form, hold hands with a friend or let your hands rest on the back of a chair for support.

Gently pull in your abs (stomach muscles) to support and protect your lower back.

Don't hold your breath. Inhale through your nose when you bend at the hips (not the waist) and exhale through your mouth when you return to standing. This helps deliver oxygen to your muscles. It also helps you get into a rhythm, so you're not working too fast or too slow.




1. Stand up straight with your hands on hips, feet together, and your abs pulled in.

2. Inhale as you take a big step forward with your right foot, bending your right knee until your thigh is parallel to floor. (The right knee bends and the right heel lifts off the floor.)

3. Exhale as you push off with your right foot and return to standing.

4. Repeat, stepping with your left leg this time.

5. Alternate legs, lunging 8 to 10 times on each side (1 set).


Don't let the knee of the leading leg (the one that steps forward) move beyond your foot.

When these lunges feel easy, try a walking lunge. Alternate stepping forward and lunging with left and right legs as you travel across the room.

As you get stronger, hold a light weight in each hand or do another set.




1. Stand tall in front of a low aerobic step, bench, or stair. Let your arms hang at your sides.

2. Keep your right foot on the step, then exhale as you push up with your left foot and tap the left foot on the step.

3. Inhale as you step the left foot down, then return your right foot to the floor.

4. Repeat 8 to 10 times (1 set), then switch legs and do a set on the other side.


Keep the pace slow enough to hold your body up straight instead of leaning forward.

If you feel pain in your knees, try a lower step height, or skip this exercise.



Lying Quad Stretch

1. Lie on your left side on the floor, left arm and leg extended.

2. Bend your right knee and grasp the top of your right foot with your right hand, and gently press your heel toward your butt. You'll feel the stretch along the front of your right thigh. Hold the stretch for 30 or 40 seconds (or longer).

3. Roll onto your right side and repeat with left leg.


Keep your shoulders and hips square—don't let your body tip forward or backward.



Crossover Stretch

1. Lie on the floor on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor.

2. Bring your left knee up toward your chest, move the left foot across the right knee so that the lower part of your left leg rests across the bent right knee.

3. Bring your right knee up toward your chest, grasping just behind the knee with both hands.

4. If you don't already feel the stretch, gently pull your right leg toward your body until you feel a gentle stretch along the back of left thigh, buttock, and lower back. Hold the stretch for 30 to 40 seconds (or longer).

5. Switch legs and repeat.




Related Links: biceps | butt/quads | calf | hamstrings | lower back | pecs | shoulders | thighs | triceps | upper back



Last Modified Date: 11/30/2000