Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog
Lower Limb Strengthening Exercises: Why They’re Important
If you’re not doing regular strength training, and you’re over 30, you’re losing muscle mass. This is why lower limb strengthening exercises are important.
Most people lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30.
Age-related loss of muscle mass is known as sarcopenia. A sedentary lifestyle accelerates sarcopenia.
Strength declines 10% to 15% per decade until age 70. After age 70, loss of strength accelerates to 25% to 40% per decade.
Muscle protein synthesis and repair capacity decline with age. Muscular endurance diminishes by 10% per decade.
There’s also a loss of type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers. The fast twitch muscle fibers are responsible for short burst activity.
Staying strong and maintaining muscle mass is a biomarker for longevity.
In addition to increased muscle mass, other benefits of lower limb strengthening exercises include:
- Increased walking speed
- Better balance
- Improved stair climbing ability
- Increased bone density
- Improved weight management
Lower Limb Strengthening Exercises: How They Work
The following exercises are for healthy individuals with good balance.
By using lower limb strengthening exercises outlined here, you’re taking the safest and most effective route to getting the benefits of strength training in the shortest amount of time.
For beginners, 8-10 multi-joint exercises, or compound exercises, that target the major muscle groups is a great starting point, 2-3 times per week.
Optimal range of repetitions for hypertrophy, or building muscle mass, is 6-12.
10-15 repetitions is a good range for people over 50.
Beginners can start with 2-3 sets per exercise. More advanced people can do 4 to 6 sets per exercise.
Allow 48-96 hours rest between workouts.
Your body temperature peaks between 4pm and 6pm, and it’s believed to be the reason pliability, speed, and strength peak during this time frame.
Therefore, the optimal time for resistance training is 4pm to 6pm.
Don’t let the effects of aging bring you down. Start building muscle and strength, and improve your quality of life.
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