By targeting the muscles of the hips, thighs, and buttocks, this exercise makes your lower body shapelier and strengthens your hipbones, which may be especially vulnerable to fracture as you age.
- Stand behind a sturdy chair, with feet slightly apart and toes facing forward. Keep your legs straight, but do not lock your knees.
- To a count of two, slowly lift your right leg out to the side. Keep your left leg straight—but again, do not lock your knee.
- Pause. Then, to a count of four, slowly lower your right foot back to the ground.
- Repeat 10 times with the right leg and 10 times with the left leg for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions with each leg.
Make sure you:
- Don't lock your knee on the supporting leg.
- Keep your toes facing forward throughout the move.
- Don't lean to the side when you lift your leg.
* To increase the difficulty of this exercise, you may add ankle weights.