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Fitness | FITNESS Q & A

If you can't stand the legwork, try sitting

June 30, 2003|Stephanie Oakes | Special to The Times

I have bowlegs, so I can't do standing exercises, such as squats, that isolate my thighs (the force comes from my knees, not my thigh muscles). Are there any alternative exercises for thighs and buttocks?

Try seated, machine-based exercises. They'll tone your thighs, and your leg's bone structure shouldn't interfere with movement or performance.

For quads, try leg extensions. For the backs of the thighs (hamstrings), try the leg-curl machine. If you don't have access to a gym, these exercises can also be done with ankle weights while lying on a bench.

Also, if you have an exercise ball, you can work your hamstrings and glutes with this exercise: Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Place your heels on top of the ball, with your toes pulled toward you. Raise your rear end off the floor and roll the ball back toward your rear, until your knees are bent above your hips. Then slowly roll the ball away from you.

If any of these exercises cause pain, stop immediately.

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Send questions by e-mail to stephoakes@aol.com.

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