Beginner's Workout

Side-seated Leg Raise

Earlier I mentioned that when designing a workout you must choose whether you want to work out a particular part of your body or if you want a total body workout.

I recommend that beginners learn how to design exercise routines that will work their entire body, because it will save a beginner a lot of time when it comes to exercise and it will prevent injury.

We'll start by working the large muscles in the leg. To do this we will perform the Side Seated Leg Raise, which is going work your quadriceps muscles. These are the large muscles in the front of your thigh, which are instrumental in leg strength, balance, and knee support. In fact, people with strong quadriceps have improved arthritis symptoms and a lower risk for leg injury.

All you will need is a floor mat or carpeted area.

Start by sitting on the floor with your hands palm down on the floor beside you.

Bend one leg so that the bottom of your foot is flat on the floor mat or carpet. Keep the other leg straight and fully extended.

Lean your upper body back about 20 to 30 degrees so that you're resting comfortably on your hands.

Now lift the straight leg about six inches off the ground. Hold this position for one second, then move your straight leg in the air to the side, or away from your bent leg as far as you can. Hold that position for about one second, then return your straight leg back to the starting position.

Be sure to maintain a steady pace in moving from the middle to the side, and avoid jerky movements. When first performing this exercise you may notice that your leg is a bit shaky; however, this is a normal adaptation to beginning an exercise program. Basically, your nerves are getting used to talking to your muscles. The shakiness will resolve as you continue working out.

Perform three to five sets of the Side Seated Leg Raise, using 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

Next Beginner's Exercise: Modified Push-up »


Tips for Side Seated Leg Raise

  1. Keep the leg straight throughout the exercise.

  2. Keep the rest of your body as still as possible while doing a Side Seated Leg Raise.

  3. Perform 3-5 sets of the Side Seated Leg Raise with 8-12 repetitions per set.