3-Way Leg Swings (for balance, joint mobility, range of motion, core stability, single leg strength) Note: In the beginning, perform smaller swings to maintain balance. The whole point of this exercise flow is to improve your mind-body connection and enhance muscle activation to improve your balance.
3-Way Leg Swings (in bare or stocking feet); Perform 10 – 20 repetitions, 1-2 sets daily.
NOTE: In the beginning, do each swinging leg exercise (i.e. forward/back) on one leg, then the other. As your single leg strength increases, attempt to do all repetitions for the 3-way swings first on the right leg, then on the left.
How to perform: Begin by standing on one foot. Feel your foot gripping the ground and engage the glute of the standing leg to help you balance. Brace your abs and stand up nice and tall. Stand near a chair or wall for balance as needed.
Keeping both legs fairly straight, but not locked out, begin to swing the other leg forward and backward. Start with smaller swings, then increase range of motion. Swing from the hip, don’t just bend your knee and kick your lower leg. The bigger your swings are, the more your standing leg will have to work to balance.
To warm up the joint, perform smaller swings during the initial repetitions and/or tap your foot down as needed to reset and stabilize. When holding onto a chair or wall, you will have removed the balance component of this exercise, however, you may now focus on hip mobility by engaging in larger swings.
Complete all reps of the forward/backward swing then, switch to the lateral swings. For the lateral swings, swing the leg up to the right and then to the left in front of your standing leg. You may even feel the outside of that glute working to raise the leg up as you swing it. The bigger your swing, the more you will open up your hip and force your standing leg to work hard to balance.
Next, perform the rotational swings by bending the knee of the moving leg to 90 degrees. then bring the bent knee in front of you and open it out to the side. Bring the knee back forward, keeping the leg bent the entire time. Really focus on opening from the hip with this move. You should really feel the glute of the standing leg working as you rotate. The more your rotate, the harder the move will be, but also the more you will open your hips and get your glutes activated. You will know you are doing this move correctly, as you will feel your foot, calf and even your shin muscles working to balance. You will also feel your glute and core engaging as you swing your leg to open your hip.