Leg drops are a great exercise to include in your workout. The muscles of the abdominal region and lower back (often referred to as the core) are often missed during a workout. This exercise will not only target these muscles, thereby increasing their strength and tone, but will also help in the elimination of back pain and help to stabilize recent bone dislocations. Be sure to increase the intensity once the basic move becomes too easy.
About the Alternating Leg Drop
The alternating leg drop is a great exercise that should be included in total body workouts. This exercise targets muscles in the abdominal region, lower back and upper quadriceps. It also helps to stabilize the head of the femur, making it a great exercise for people who have recently dislocated this bone. As discussed above, it also strengthens the lower back, making it a good exercise for people who have suffered from back pain in the past.
Positioning Your Body
Positioning your body in the correct manner is essential to performing a proper alternating leg drop. To start, place a yoga mat or towel onto a flat surface. Lay flat on the mat, with your arms by your sides and your knees bent, with your feet flat on the floor. Carefully lift one foot off the floor, and extend it to the ceiling, then do so with the opposite foot. Keep your legs at straight as possible at this point. Look straight up at the ceiling. You should now be in a straight line from the tip of your head to your tailbone.
Performing the Alternating Leg Drop
Now that you have positioned your body properly, you can go about performing the alternating leg drop. Take a few deep breaths. As you exhale, slowly lower your right leg toward the ground, stopping when you feel your lower back beginning to lift from the ground. At this point, begin to lift your leg back to the starting position. Repeat this maneuver 10 times, and then switch to the opposite leg. Do a total of three sets of 10 repetitions on both legs to achieve optimal results.
Increasing the Intensity
There are a number of ways that the alternating leg drop exercise can be made more difficult. The most simple of these is to place an ankle weight around each ankle. The added weight will increase the resistance that must be lifted, thereby placing more strain on the working muscles. Another way to make this exercise more difficult is to lift and lower both legs at the same time. In this technique, the legs both start in the upright position, but instead of dropping one leg for 10 repetitions and then switching to the other, both legs are dropped and lowered simultaneously. Like adding weights to your ankles, this increases the resistance against which the muscles of the abdomen, lower back and thighs must work.