I’ve given you a beginner upper body workout, so it only makes sense for me to now give you a beginner lower body workout!
Our lower body muscles allow us to do so much in our everyday lives. From simply walking to bending over, to climbing the stairs and showing off our dance moves, our legs do a whole lotta work! That being said, strengthening these muscles should be a priority in your fitness regime.
Plus, people with POTS can especially benefit from these exercises. One 2018 study explains how strengthening the legs and glutes (and core!) can help improve muscular pumping mechanisms associated with blood circulation. I chose all these exercises for the workout because they’re pilates-based and can be done without standing. They also involve only a few positional changes. Rest assured, I’m always thinking of my fellow POTSies!
Resistance bands strengthened my lower body in a relatively short amount of time. I’m so glad I discovered them when I couldn’t tolerate heavy weight lifting six months ago. I truly believe that strength training with them for several months is what now allows me to tolerate weight lifting with dumbbells again. My lower body is so much stronger now. I do these exercises at least once a week because they are that effective.
*Disclaimer: I am not a certified personal trainer, but I do have a minor in health and wellness studies and am passionate about exercise. As always, consult your doctor before starting this or any new exercise routine.
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Good news! This is another workout you can do right at home. All you’ll need to complete it is a yoga mat and resistance bands. Any yoga mat will get the job done as long as it’s supportive enough for you. As for resistance bands, I recommend Fit Simplify Resistance Bands. They’re inexpensive and come in a variety of pretty colors. But even more importantly, you get 5 bands of varying levels of resistance. This is perfect for beginners and advanced exercisers alike! You can pick and choose which resistance level to use based on where you are in your fitness journey, and it allows you to keep getting stronger as you progress.
Even if you don’t use these resistance bands specifically, I’d still recommend buying at least three different levels of resistance bands (light, medium, and heavy). That way, you can still build strength as you progress through this workout—and any others!
The Beginner Lower Body Resistance Band Workout
Beginners can perform 1 set of 12-15 repetitions on each side for every exercise. (Example: 15 reps on right leg+15 reps on left leg=1 set). If you’re a more advanced exerciser but still want to do this workout (which I totally encourage!) you can start with 2-3 sets of 15 reps per leg.
If you can’t tolerate the resistance bands yet, don’t get down on yourself! You can still do this workout! Simply perform the movements without them. Once your body adapts to the exercises, you can try incorporating some light resistance bands to start. (See how convenient it is to have multiple bands of different resistance levels?!)
Okay, friends, who’s ready to give this beginner lower body resistance band workout a try?
And here’s part two!
Because this is a lower body workout, I want to make sure we hit the entire lower body. That means we gotta give your calves some love too! So, stand up, grab two dumbbells and hold them down by your sides, and perform calf raises. Again, try to do 1 set of 12-15 reps to start and work your way up to more sets when you’re ready.
For all my POTSies out there, you can sit and perform these without any weight if you need to. Or, you can place a dumbbell in your lap as you lift your toes into the calf raise.
1. Bridges: When you’re holding the bridge position, work your outer thighs and glutes by driving your knees outward before lowering back down to the starting position. The movement progression should be: Up (into bridge), hold, knees out, knees in, hold, down (to starting) and repeat.
2. Seated march: To make this more challenging, you can lean back onto your elbows as opposed to your hands.
As always, listen to your body whenever you’re exercising! If it feels like too much, back off and try a lower intensity version of the exercises. With consistency and persistence, you WILL get stronger. Take it at your own pace, don’t compare yourself to others, and remember that I’m proud of you for giving it all you’ve got!
I hope you feel the burn with this beginner lower body resistance band workout! I also hope that it helps you just as much as it helped me. After you finish it, eat something with protein and healthy carbohydrates to aid your new muscle growth.
What kinds of workouts would you like to see next? Drop your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do!
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