Leg Workout For Seniors And The Elderly

Straight Leg Raise

Leg workout exercises assist with lower body strengthening which improves balance and flexibility. This results in increased functional independence and confidence.

When performing the straight leg raise below, make sure your low back is pressed into the floor. This brings your spine into alignment for increased safety and comfort.

I like this leg workout exercise for not only strengthening the leg and hip but also for stabilizing the low back and pelvis. Give it a try!

Purpose of this exercise

To increase your quadriceps and hip flexor strength. To strengthen your abdominal muscles. Allow you to advance your leg during walking with greater ease.

Step 1

Lie on your back with one knee bent and one knee straight, toes pointing upward to the ceiling.


Step 2

Raise your  straightened leg to the level of the other bent knee. Return to the starting position and repeat with each leg 10 times.



Inhale during the upward movement phase. Exhale during the downward movement phase.


Place your palms down to gain more support. Breathe out during the lifting part. Don’t raise your knee higher than your other knee.

Take it up a notch

Add a 2 to 5 pound weight to your ankle for this leg workout. Hold the raised position for 10 seconds.

How to do Straight Leg Raise

How to do Straight Leg Raise

More Lower Body Strengthening

1. Ankle Circles

  • This exercise improves your ankle flexibility and ability to move your ankle upward and downward.
  • This is a great warm up exercise for the lower leg and feet.

2. Hip Marching

  • This exercise will strengthen your hip flexor and thighs.
  • With correct seated posture it will also help your abdominal muscles.

3. Knee Extension

  • Strengthening your knees width knee strengthening exercises will improve your ability to stand and balance.
  • This exercise will improve your available knee range of motion.

4. Calf Raises

  • Strengthening your calf muscles with calf exercises will give your more power to step forward on level surfaces or carry you up hills on uneven terrain.
  • Helps pump blood up from your legs to your upper-body and brain.

5. Standing Knee Flexion

  • These knee exercises strengthens your hamstring muscles.
  • Also helps with your standing balance.

6. Side Hip Raise

  • Safely strengthens your side hip muscles to help with hip arthritis.
  • Helps maintain your lower body endurance to better walk and side step around objects.

7. Sit to Stand

  • Excellent hip exercises to maintain your leg and hip strength.
  • One of the most important exercises used daily to keep your independence and confidence.

8. Heel Stand

  • Strengthens the front part of the lower leg with ankle stretches.
  • You will become better able to raise your toes to avoid tripping.

9. Lunges

  • To strengthen your quadriceps and hips with leg toning exercises.
  • Improve your ability to get out of a chair and balance.
  • Help you with lifting chores around the house.

10. Straight Leg Raise

  • To increase your quadriceps and hip flexor strength with this leg workout.
  • To strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Allow you to advance your leg during walking with greater ease.

11. Partial Squats

  • Increase your hip flexibility, quadriceps strength and hip flexor strength.
  • Improve your ability to get up from a chair and walk.
  • Steady your body for better balance and safety.

12. Hip Extension

  • This exercise will help with strengthening the hip joint and muscles.
  • This will improve the ability to walk and propel yourself forward or up stairs.

Resources Family Caregivers https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-CaregiverBrochure.pdf