Developing Leg Strength
One or two days a week, do an aerobic activity that builds leg strength:
- riding a road bike, single speed or mountain bike in hilly terrain.
- hiking, snow shoeing, or back country skiing with a moderately heavy pack.
Two or three days a week, do three sets of 12-20 reps of one of the following strength exercises, which are progressively more difficult. For each of these exercises, the knee of the front leg should remain directly over the ankle - the knee should not go forward in front of the toes, which would place added stress on the knee.
Wall Squats: Stand 12-18 inches away from a wall. Place a soccer/basketball between your lower back and the wall. Bend your knees and, using the ball as a roller, squat down like you're sitting in a chair. Go down until your hip and knee joints form right angles (just like in a chair), then stand back up. Start with no weights, and progress to holding a gallon of water in each hand.
Step ups: With right leg, step up onto a box or step approximately 12-16 inches high and step back down; step up with left leg and back down. (Both legs = 1 repetition). Wear a backpack full of canned food for added resistance.
Originally printed in UltraCycling