In-Home Physical Therapy Exercises for Leg Strength

When you are recovering from a sports injury or surgery, your legs tent to become weak from lack of use. This is one of the reasons in-home physical therapy can be a good alternative for those who cannot find a ride and/or have trouble driving to a clinic on their own. Receiving physical therapy at home is more convenient for the patient, and allows them to practice the necessary exercises in real time, so they can repeat them on their own and accelerate their recovery. Toward that end, here are three areas to focus on with your in-home exercises to help build leg strength. As always, check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any type of exercise regime to ensure it is safe for you.

Glute Sets

Exercising your glutes is a relatively simple and easy way to strengthen your hips by improving blood circulation to the hips and legs. Here are the steps for one of the more popular glute exercises:

  • Lie flat on your back and bend your knees at about a 15-degree angle (it is best to use a yoga or exercise mat to provide a comfortable surface to lie on).
  • Raise your buttocks slightly off the ground and squeeze/tighten your buttocks muscles.
  • Hold for about five seconds.
  • Relax your buttocks.
  • Do three sets a day, with 10 repetitions in each set.

You can increase or decrease the repetitions depending on your tolerance level. And if this exercise gives you intense pain, stop it altogether and report this to your therapist or doctor.

Hamstring Sets

Your hamstring muscles assist you in bending your knee and extending your hip backwards. Strengthening your hamstrings can be critical in the recovery process by helping you more quickly get back to walking in a normal manner. Here is a hamstring set most individuals can do. To begin, lie on your stomach and follow these steps:

  • Raise your leg backward about 10-12 inches.
  • Hold for up to five seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg back to the ground.
  • Do two-three sets a day, with 10-15 repetitions in each set.

Quad Sets

Your quadricep muscles are the four (quad) muscles that are located at the front end of the thigh. Together, they contract to assist in lifting up the hip and extending the knee. There are several different types of quad strengthening exercises you can do. One of the simplest is called straight leg raises. Here are the steps:

  • Lie flat on your back (again, use a yoga or exercise mat for best results).
  • Bend the knee of the stronger leg (the one that was not injured or operated on) to a 90-degree angle while keeping the weaker leg straight and flat on the mat.
  • Lift the weaker leg slowly until it is about 12 inches off the ground.
  • Hold in the raised position for five seconds and slowly lower your leg back to the ground.
  • Do two-three sets a day, with 10-15 repetitions in each set.

These are just a few examples of leg-strengthening exercises you can do at home to help speed up your recovery. There are countless others that target the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and other critical areas of the lower body. With in-home physical therapy, a therapist designs a customized exercise regimen focused on your specific needs, so you are doing the right exercises to rebuild strength in your body.