This easy exercise is one of the best ways to safeguard yourself from an Achilles injury. Calf raises strengthen your lower legs. which work as a support for your lower muscles and joints.
- Stand with both feet on the floor and lift your heels off the ground so that you're standing on the balls of you feet, aiming to balance on your tiptoes.
- Hold for 2 seconds, clenching your muscles at the top, and gently place your heels back on the floor.
- Repeat in sets of 10.
Underworked glutes can be one of the biggest causes of injury. If your gluteus maximus lack in strength your legs are often forced to work harder and potentially overcompensate. Give your glutes some extra TLC each morning by free squatting.
- Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart with your toes pointing out slightly and your core engaged.
- Bend your knees and push out your glutes and hips as though you were about to sit down in a chair, keeping your weight on your heels, making sure your knees are over your toes.
- Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground and keep your torso upright.
- Stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the same time.
- Repeat this in sets of 5 and see how many you can add on each time.
- Check your form with this video on how to squat correctly
This exercise will fire up your legs and glutes while your teeth get minty fresh. All you need is a wall and you're good to go.
- Perch next to a wall or a door as if you're sitting on an invisible chair.
- Keep your core tight and your legs strong and see how many seconds you can hold the chair position for, resting for 10-20 seconds when you feel it is needed.
- To give yourself an even bigger challenge try our 4 week leg strength challenge
Changing up your squatting technique is great for working different muscles. The sumo style squat works your glutes, quads and hamstrings as well as strengthening your inner thighs.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and your toes slightly turned out.
- Push your hips back and squat down, keeping your chest up.
- Stand back up to starting position and repeat this for 10 reps.
- Try to increase your squats by 2 reps every time, aiming for 30 as your goal.
Single leg balance
The single leg balance exercise works wonders for your leg strength, core and balance.
- Standing on two feet, lift your left leg to a high knee position, holding in your core and maintaining balance for 20 seconds.
- Place your leg down to standing and repeat the position with your right leg.
- Repeat this sequence until your time is up.