Lower Body Strength Exercises

Improve power, balance and flexibility with these simple lower body strength exercises. Learn how to do heel raises, standing hip extension, side leg raises and more.

Hamstring Stretch
A seated leg lift can safely help strengthen your quadricep and hip flexor muscles to ease movement of your knees and hips.  

Strengthens quadriceps and hip flexors
  • Sit up straight and tall with one foot on the floor.
  • Gently raise one leg, knee straight, supporting your leg with both hands.
  • Hold, relax and repeat several times with each leg.
Leg Press with Resistance Band

Strengthen your legs with the leg press, which works your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles.  

Strengthens the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles

  • Loop an exercise band over one foot, holding the ends at waist level.
  • Bend your knee and raise your thigh slightly, taking up the slack in the band with your hands.
  • Straighten your leg by pushing on the band.
  • Bend your knee and put your foot back on the floor.
  • Repeat with other leg.
Seated Knee lift
Looking for knee exercises? This exercise video shows you how to get the benefits of knee lifts while being seated.  

Strengthens the muscles that flex the hip
  • Pull an exercise band over your thighs and hold the sides of the chair seat.
  • Slowly raise a leg up from the chair against the band.
  • Lower and switch legs.
  • Repeat several times.
Side-Leg Raise
This simple but effective side leg raise will strengthen your hip abductors, making daily tasks like getting in and out of your car easier. 

Strengthens hip abdcutors
  • Using a counter or chair for support, stand tall with knees and feet pointing forward.
  • Tighten your abs and slowly raise your leg straight out to the side.
  • Lower and repeat several times with each leg.
Sit-Stand Squats
Get a jump start on a healthier you with the sit-stand squat. 

Strengthen the muscles of the buttocks and thighs
  • Sit on the edge of a chair with feet and knees facing forward and slightly apart.
  • With your arms straight out in front of you, slowly stand up nice and tall.
  • Sit back down while your arms stay up.
  • Repeat several times.
Standing-Heel Raise
Strengthen calf muscles to ease walking and climbing stairs with this heel raise exercise.  

Strengthens calves, muscles around hips and knees and improves balance
  • Standing by a counter or chair for support, rise up on your toes with your knees straight and your body tall.
  • Slowly lower down onto your heels and repeat.
Standing-Hip Extension
Gain great flexibility and strength in your hip extensor muscles with this standing hip extension exercise. 

Strengthens hip extensors
  • Standing by a counter or chair for support, keep abs tight.
  • Raise one leg slightly backward, keeping your knee straight until your foot is about 3 to 4 inches off the floor.
  • Hold, then slowly lower.
  • Repeat several times for each leg.

Stay in the Know. Live in the Yes.

Get involved with the arthritis community. Tell us a little about yourself and, based on your interests, you’ll receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others.