3 Best Exercises for Leg Weakness and Stiffness
How to Improve Leg Stiffness and Weakness
Leg Stiffness and weakness can be a problem especially as you age. Here are 3 best exercises to improve leg flexibility and strength.
Aging is inevitable. Along with this aging are the bad effects it carries on its back. Our muscles tend to become weaker and lose muscle mass which can lead to stiffness in the long run.
There are different factors that contribute to stiffness and leg weakness. These include health-related problems like arthritis and Parkinson's disease.
Muscle weakness of the legs is an important factor in the elderly for maintaining their balance. Each fiber of a muscle eventually thins out when it is not given any work.
After a while, this thinning will lead to losing the strength of the muscle. To maintain and increase muscle strength, exercise is important.
The condition of the muscles to be contracted and feeling tight rather than being relaxed at the state of rest is called muscle stiffness. It is a tension felt in the muscles that causes range of motion limitation.
Leg Weakness - Leg Exercises for Seniors
Leg weakness happens when a nerve is compressed which could be seen as a first sign of paralysis.
The feeling of leg weakness is based highly on one's own perception making people not realize that they already have leg weakness.
Leg muscles are weakened as manifested by limited movements of the affected leg or foot.
It has been proven that regular exercise improves our flexibility and helps us to be active. There are several exercises that could be done to prevent or slow down leg weakness and stiffness that comes with age. Such exercises are stretches, strength training, and yoga.
Leg Stretches - Leg and Hip Flexor Stretches
Before doing any type of exercise, we always do stretching to improve flexibility, reduce stiffness, and get our muscles warmed up to avoid any muscle problems due to abrupt exercise.
Stretching exercises commonly include moving or swinging arms and legs, reaching over and touching the feet with fingers, and stretching or lengthening muscles while holding it for 20 seconds. These exercises are repeated four to five times or as needed.
Strength Training - Leg Strengthening Exercises
To build and maintain our muscles, exercises that uses weight machines, weights, or resistance bands usually help.
Our muscle functions improve with even the slightest change in strength. In weight training, we focus on major muscle groups such as the abdomen, chest, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, buttocks, and back.
It is done at least two to three days a week for 20-30 minutes. Do not, however, overdo weight training and avoid working out the same muscle group for two days in a row.
Balance Exercises - Balance Training
One example of a balance exercise is the Single Limb Stance. It is of great help in preventing falls in the elderly. This is done by holding on to a chair and to balance in one leg.
The goal of this exercise is to maintain the centre over our ankles.
Start by balancing one foot for a few seconds then working it up to a minute if possible. Each is to begin holding on with one hand, and slowly changing to holding with one finger, then finally letting go.
With this exercises, our performance in doing our daily activities will improve especially with activities that would require reaching over, forward, or to the sides.