Strengthen Your Legs Without Pain In Your Knee

Knee pain can come from a variety of causes. If you live with this, you know how frustrating it is. It is made even more frustrating when you try to strengthen your muscles, become healthier, make steps in the right direction but every workout program you try ends up leaving you in worse pain one or two days later!

I hear you.

You do not need to be held back by knee pain! You deserve a program that is meant for you. On days that your pain is naturally worse, please take it easy on the legs. On a day that you feel ready for a leg workout, try one similar to the circuit I’ve created below. The circuit below will strengthen your legs, including the muscles around your knees but won’t cause you pain in a day or days following!

Of course, please always consult your physician if you have any questions or hesitations.

Lower Body Circuit 1

By Emily Langlois

Note: When squatting, please be sure to ALWAYS keep your knee BEHIND your toes. This will engage your leg muscles and avoid putting too much pressure on the knee.

Do 12 Repetitions for Each Exercise. Repeat.

  1. Partial Squat
    1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
    2. Sit back in your legs about 45 degrees or halfway down towards a chair.
    3. Hold for 15 seconds.
    4. Stand.
    5. Repeat.



  1. Calf Raise
    1. Stand Facing the tall side of the chair holding the chair for support if needed.
    2. Raise up on to your toes, keeping your heels off the ground.
    3. Lower heels to the ground.
    4. Repeat.
  1. One Leg Raise and Extend
    1. Stand to the right side of the chair and plant through your left foot.
    2. Raise your right leg to hip height
    3. Extend the right leg out parrel to the ground and hold
    4. Hold the right leg out, working to keep hip height for 30 seconds.
    5. Bring the leg in and then down
    6. Repeat other side


  1. Up and Over
    1. Plant through your left foot
    2. Raise your right knee up to hip height
    3. Lower your right foot down over your left foot
    4. Raise the right foot back up bending the knee as it crosses hip height
    5. Plant the right foot back down to the ground
    6. Repeat with your left, crossing up and over your right.


  1. Sit and Stand
    1. Start sitting in a chair
    2. Plant your feet firmly on the ground
    3. Stand
    4. Squat down, barely tapping the chair (not sitting all the way back down)
    5. And stand again
    6. Repeat
  1. Step, Squat and Throw
    1. Grab a partner for this exercise! If a partner isn’t available, remove the throw and use a light weight instead of a ball.
    2. Stand tall with shoulders back, drawing in the core and holding a ball (or light weight)
    3. Take a large step to the right
    4. Squat into your heels, sitting back, keeping your knees behind your toes
    5. Toss the ball or stand with the light weight
    6. Standing, take a step now to the left
    7. Repeat


If you have questions, would like more workouts or have questions about Online Personal Training with Emily, please complete the form below or visit


Stay Healthy. Stay Strong. Stay Happy. Stay YOU!

About the Author:

Emily Langlois is an Online Personal Trainer specializing in custom workouts to fit YOU. Your current pains, age, time limits or other responsibilities can no longer hold you back! You have a workout program designed for YOU to fit in YOUR life.

I work with a variety of clients, the majority of them over 50 and/or have some type of chronic condition or injury which can cause them pain. I will help you find exercises for YOU to help you stay healthy, strong, happy and doing the things YOU love.


How Often Should I Work My Abs?

When you see a “fit” person, we always look to their stomach first, right? The vast majority of my clients measure their success on their waistline, ab definition, flatness of their stomach or some version of this. So of course, if the area we want the best results in is our abs, how often should we do ab exercises to see results?

A false myth is thinking you need to work your core every day in order to see results. Do you work other areas every day? Imagine 5 leg days in a row. Who wants to do that?!

Like any other muscle, you must give it rest in order for it to grow and recover. The magic is in both completing effective core exercises with proper form but ALSO giving it enough time to rest so you prevent injury, can work hard the next day and give the muscle time to grow during the recovery phase.

I recommend to clients looking to shred their midsection to complete full ab workouts no more than 3 times per week. Make sure these workouts are effective, reaching every muscle of your core and trust me, you will be begging for the rest days in between! Quicker than you think, you will start to see results. I also recommend completing Total Body Conditioning workouts if you are looking to see definition in your abs. Total Body workouts require you to use your upper and lower body at the same time. Thus, activating your core for stabilization. You won’t realize your working your core until the end when it is thanking you!

Subscribe to my email list and receive the BEST core exercises to see results!

Burn More Calories During the Day

Exercising for 30- 60 minutes a day will do wonders for your body. But if you think about it, that is just a small percentage of your day! If during the other 23 hours, you sit in a chair or lay on a couch, you are missing huge opportunities to see even bigger results. Here are a few easy ways to incorporate a little extra exercise throughout the day:

1. Park further away everywhere you go

2. Stand every 30 minutes

3. Use a restroom further away from your desk at work

4. Take the stairs instead of the elevator

5. While watching TV, use commercials to stand and/or do squats or crunches

6. If you are going to a store, walk the whole store

7. During your lunch break, walk a lap around your building

8. Have to walk your dog? Take him for an extra block – He’ll enjoy it too!

Do you have other ideas?

How Often Should I Eat?

There is a common misconception that the key to loosing weight is eating less. No! It is about fueling your body with the food that it needs and when it needs it! I will talk about what KINDS of foods you should be eating in another article but for the purpose of this dialog, I want to talk about how OFTEN you should eat.

We’ve all been at that place where we realize it’s been too long since we’ve eaten and we are STARVING. Visualize it. What happens? We tend to eat too much and not care what we eat. Anything in sight is up for grabs, the more carbs and sugar, the better. Our blood sugar has dropped too low for us to care; we have zero energy and just want food, right?

To prevent our blood sugar from dropping too low and to keep our metabolism going, we should be eating every 2-3 hours or approximately 5 times per day. This includes breakfast (never, ever skip breakfast), snack, lunch, snack and dinner.

Breakfast is what gets your body running in the morning. It provides the fuel that your body needs to start your day, improve your focus and start your metabolism.

By eating every few hours throughout the day, you avoid becoming overly hungry and are more likely to choose healthy, balanced foods.

You may choose to eat 5 small meals a day, or 3 meals and 2 snacks. How you divide your caloric intake throughout the day is about what works for you. You may also want to consider when you exercise to base your eating schedule appropriately around that time allowing for a pre and post-workout snack if needed.

The key is, don’t starve yourself! Eat every few hours to provide your body with the energy it needs to keep you functioning at your highest potential.

How to Stay Healthy on the Weekends

Weekends are our vacation days. Our time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. It doesn’t have to mean Splurge days though or completely wasting away all of the hard work you’ve put in throughout the week to eat healthy and exercise! Here are easy ways to stay healthy and still enjoy yourself this weekend!

1. Plan. Plan. Plan.

If you know you’re going to be out all day, bring snacks! Don’t leave yourself to become overly hungry and therefore accepting any poor choice or fast food. Grab an apple, almonds, whole wheat crackers, a protein shake… A balanced snack will keep you going and better yet, stop the hangry 🙂

2. Eat a small meal or snack before going out to eat.

Sounds weird right, eat twice? Yes! We all know how long it takes to actually eat when you go out to a restuarant – you have to drive there, wait for a table, wait to order, wait for the food. You will be STARVING by the time you actually eat and subsequently you’ll be more likely to overeat. OR you will find yourself filling up on the chips/bread. Not good either. Save yourself and eat a balanced snack before you leave the house!

3. Let’s piggyback off of #2: say no to the chips and bread! Don’t even have them come to the table. You went out for good food, don’t full up on things you have at home!

4. Split a meal with someone. The portions at restaurants are HUGE. Add in the sides, salad and any appetizer, you are easily looking at a few meals worth if portions! So share a meal with a friend! Not only will this bring your portions back to size for you, you’ll also be saving money. Two goals achieved!

5. Dance more (or at least walk around!)

Burn some calories and you’ll be less likely to chug the drink at your table too!

6. Skip the mixers.

All of the soda, juice and extras are adding calories you didn’t even realize to each of your drinks. Need an easy way to add flavor? Bring a Mio or other flavor adder that as zero calories! Try it, you might like it.

7. Be the first to order.

You will be less likely to switch your healthy choice plan for the better sounding burger if you place your order first! Stick to your plan and you won’t regret it!

8. Drink your water!!!

Trust me, you will thank me tomorrow 🙂

9. Know the facts: with alcohol you will consume AT LEAST 11% more food than you would without alcohol. Alcohol actually triggers your mind to eat more than you need/normally would have. Understand this and be ready to tell yourself to stop well before you’re full. We’ve all had that late-night food run. Be ware!

10. Love yourself. You deserve to have fun and enjoy a splurge here and there. So give yourself a break and have the dessert. Eat a few french fries. Just get back on track tomorrow and don’t loose sight of your bigger goal.

Lose Weight While Watching TV

We all have those favorite shows that we HAVE to watch. I get it! But don’t let that stop you from burning calories and achieving your goals. You can do both!

During commercials, do this circuit:

30 sec jog

30 sec high knees

30 sec push ups

30 sec squats

30 sec bicycles

30 sec russian twists

Do this during every commercial break. You will feel better, more awake and make healthier snacking choices.