1. Typical Weight-Training Routine:
Pop some weights on those ankles and get those legs moving! Make sure you’re working on all muscle groups by moving each joint in all planes. Check out my Stories on Instagram for a quick video tutorial.
2. Practice Functional Transfers:
Set up some chairs around the room and move from one chair to the other, like a really slow, safe therapy version of musical chairs. This is a great opportunity to also focus on direction-following, body mechanics, and safety.
3. Take a Walk:
Walk inside. Walk outside. Walk on smooth flat surfaces. Walk on bumpy, hilly surfaces. Walk to the bathroom. Walk to lunch. Walk to therapy. Walk to the nurse’s station. Whatever your patient can tolerate do it. Walk, walk, walk.
4. Boot-Scoot that Wheelchair:
I’m really not sure how else to word this. But encourage the patient to propel their wheelchair up the hall by pulling the wheelchair forward with their feet and legs. Pop those ankle weights back on for an additional challenge.
5. ‘Anything You can do I can do Standing’:
Any tabletop activity can be turned into a lower-body strengthening task by doing it in standing. Fold laundry. Play cards. Brush your teeth. Shave your face. Make a sandwich. Read a magazine. Knead some therapy putty. Get those patients on their feet. Don’t forget to keep a timer going to have some numerical evidence of therapeutic gains.
The OT Toolkit by Cheryl A. Hall has some awesome handouts to maximize lower body strength.
What are your favorite ways to address lower body strengthening?