Lower Limb

Disclaimer: The exercises below are for information purposes only.  Although the exercises here are suitable for most of our patients, they have undergone a full examination and will only be prescribed these exercises if they will help their recovery.  In some cases these examples may not help or if performed incorrectly could make your condition worse. Do not attempt these exercises unless they have been prescribed for you.

 

 

Static quads

Start Position -Sit with your back supported and your legs out straight in front of you. Feel for the muscle on the inside of the knee above the kneecap, this is where you should feel the muscle tighten.

Exercise – Pull your foot up bringing the toes towards you, Tighten your quads muscles and push your knee down as if you were trying to squash something below it. Hold for five seconds then release.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist

Straight leg raise

Start Position – Sit with your back supported and your legs straight out in front of you.

Exercise - Pull your foot up bringing the toes towards you, Tighten your quads muscles and push your knee down as if you were trying to squash something below it. Keeping the leg straight, lift it approximately 10 cms from the bed. Hold for five seconds then lower back to the bed.

Progression –  turn your leg out approximately 20 degrees before lifting. This concentrates the work on the muscles on the inside of your quads.

Progression 2 -  to stop you fixing at the hip,  introduce movement of the leg. A common method of doing this is to write the alphabet in the air with your heel. You should insure that the knee remains in full extension and the movements of the hip do not become too large.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Hamstring curls in prone

Start Position - Lie on your stomach with your deep stomach muscles activated and your hips flat against the floor.

Exercise - Bend your leg towards your backside making sure that your hip does not lift off the floor. Straighten your knee to return to the start position.

Progression - place your good leg over your bad leg and resist the bending movement. The movement should be harder than without the resistance but not so much effort that it cannot be done.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Hamstring curls with the ball

This is an advanced exercise that should not be attempted unless directed by your physiotherapist.

Start Position - Lie on your back with your legs straight and your feet on the exercise ball.

Exercise – Activate your deep abdominal muscles and lift your backside off the floor, so there is a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Draw the ball towards you by bending your knees. Your hips should not bend. They should rise higher as the ball comes towards you, maintaining a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. When your knees are bend to ninety degrees straighten them again in a controlled fashion.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Double leg mini squats

Start Position – Stand with you feet shoulder width apart. Activate your deep abdominal muscles and maintain an upright spine.

Exercise –  Slowly bend your knees ensuring that they do not move inwards towards one another but stay in line with your toes. The knees should not move forward of the ankle as this increases the pressure on your kneecaps. It is often described more as a sitting down movement. Straighten your knees to a standing position.

Regression -to make this exercise easier raise your arms in front of you to counterbalance yourself. Holding small weights in your hands will increase the counterbalance and make the exercise even easier.

Eccentric calf raises

This is an advanced exercise that should not be attempted unless directed by your physiotherapist.

Start position - Stand with your heels off the edge of a step. You can hold on for balance initially as it is not the primary focus of this exercise.

Exercise - Raise both heels up so you are standing on your toes, quickly on a count of one. Slowly and smoothly lower your heels towards the ground for a count of four. Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Progression - repeat the exercise on one leg.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Step Ups

Start position - Stand at the bottom of a step or at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Draw your stomach muscles in and stand up tall.

Exercise –  Step up onto the step, leading with your bad leg. Make sure you keep good alignment of the knee throughout the exercise, ensuring the knee maintains its position over your foot. Keeping upright and do not lean forward. Slowly lower your good leg back to the floor in a controlled movement.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Wall squats

This exercise can be made more challenging by placing an exercise ball behind your back.

Start Position - Stand with your back against the wall/ball and your feet at shoulder width apart. Your feet need to be further forward than you think.

Exercise – Slowly bend your knees keeping good alignment throughout keeping your knees over your ankles. Do not let your knee move past your ankles, if you need to move your feet further forward do so. Hold for ten seconds then return to a standing position.

Pointers - Only lower yourself to the point that you feel is comfortable. Do not push through lots of pain.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Single leg squats

Start Position – Stand on one leg. Activate your deep stomach muscles and maintain an upright posture.

Exercise – Slowly bend your knee keeping good alignment by keeping your knee over your ankle. Your knee should not move forward too far over your toes or drop inwards. Return to standing

Pointers – The exercise should be comfortable therefore do not push too deep if you experience any pain.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Lunge

Start position -Stand upright and activate your deep stomach muscles.

Exercise -  Lunge forward with one leg, controlling the impact of the foot with the ground. Ensure your knee remains over your foot and does not drop inwards to ensure good alignment. You are aiming to have your back knee an inch off the ground, make sure that your body remains upright and you do not lean forward.  Return to a standing position by pushing back with the front leg.

Pointers – The further forward you lunge with your foot the easier it is to achieve the correct knee positions.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Single leg squats on chair

Start Position - Stand on one leg with your deep stomach muscles activated and standing straight and tall. Place your other foot on a chair behind you.

Exercise - Slowly send your backside backwards and bend your knee, making sure that the knee stays in alignment and does not drop inwards or move forward too far. Return your knee to a extended position.

Pointers- Your hip should not move out to the side and you should not lean forward but remain upright.

Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.

Clam

Start Position - Lie on your side with knees bent, lean slightly forward so your upper buttock is pointing directly upwards. Gently draw in your stomach muscles whilst keeping breathing normally.

Exercise - Slowly lift your uppermost knee upwards into an elevated position whilst keeping both feet together. Do not allow your back to move whilst undertaking the exercise. Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Progression -  gently push forward with the trunk at the same time as lifting the leg. There should still be no movement of the trunk, just activation of the opposing muscles. Repeat as directed by your physiotherapist.