Lateral Leg Exercises Work More Than Legs
Life is NOT a linear event! For better results – mix it up.
The simple truth about fitness is this: Exercise that is done in an outdoor location that includes hilly or mountainous trails will better your performance. By utilizing a variety of terrain, you will learn a new degree of body awareness and train your body to move in a multitude of ways.
Rather than moving in a linear direction, as say, on a treadmill or stair-stepper, you will be moving forward, backward, diagonally, laterally, and up and down. Using a variety of movement patterns over different types of terrain taxes the body in all planes of movement and increases the stability of your muscles and joints, and burns more fat and calories.
The Lateral Leg Press
This is an excellent exercise for the adductors of the inner thigh, as well as the abductors of the outer thigh and hips. Add an upper-body “palm press” with your hands to improve posture and to engage and activate the core muscles. As you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise try them while traveling up ramps and hills, steps and stairs (See the video below).
Works: Adductors, Abductors, Glutes, Thighs
Props: Flat Ground
Starting Position: Begin with the athletic stance, firmly press your palms together with your elbows level.
Action: Take a wide step out laterally, onto your right foot; weight both feet evenly. Inhale, pressing your tailbone back, while lowering only slightly (no more than a 45° bend at the knees). Exhale as you press through the arch of your left foot—big toe-to-heel–back to the starting position. Continue moving laterally to the right for a series of 2-8 steps, pressing firmly through the arch of the left foot—big toe to heel. Alternate between moving right and left.
Easier: Lower your tailbone no more than an inch or so.
Harder: Lower your tailbone to a 45° bend at the knees, and stay there! Do not stand up. Stay in this lower position throughout the entire exercise.
Remember, the lower your tailbone, the more challenging the move. So work your way “down” over time.
• If there is even a slight incline, travel up the hill, not down it.
• Don’t slip! On all terrain make sure that you finesse and feel through your feet.
• Protect your lower back and engage your center for support by keeping your hands pressed firmly together, sternum height.
Take it Uphill
• Click here to view the Lateral Shuffle Video