The quadriceps contract to help bend (or raise) the thigh and extend (or straighten) the knee. Do these exercises to strengthen quadriceps muscles.
Some quad exercises put a lot of strain on the knee joint. Your physician can show you ways to minimize joint stress while strengthening your quads.
Straight leg lift
The right leg lift is easy to get your quad muscles working correctly.
- Lie on your back.
- Your knee should have a 90-degree angle while keeping the other leg straight. Point your toes at the ceiling.
- Slowly lift the leg 12 inches off the floor by contracting the anterior thigh muscles. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Slowly lower your leg to the floor. Relax, then repeat 10 to 15 times.
Short Arc Quads
This exercise is a great way to contract the quadriceps muscles properly:
- Lie on your back. Use a yoga block or basketball to support your knee.
- Slowly straighten the bent knee until it is straight.
- Tighten the quad muscle with your toes pointing towards the ceiling. Hold it tightly for 5 seconds.
- Lower your leg slowly.
- Repeat 15 times.
The wall slide exercise works with several muscle groups, including quads, buttocks, and hamstrings. Here’s how:
- Stand against a wall, and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend slowly at the knees, pushing them back down the wall in a count of five until the knees are at a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Do not bend too much further than this, as it will strain your knees too much.
- Straighten your knees by slowly pushing up the wall until you are completely upright with your knees straight.
- Repeat ten more times.
Remember, stop if you feel increased pain or problems with this exercise.
Terminal knee extension
Terminal knee extension (TKE) is a simple but effective way to strengthen quads in a standing position. TKE is considered a functional exercise. Your quad bikes will work while supporting your body weight.
To do this exercise, you need a resistance band, such as a Theraband. You can buy one in a large box store or get one from your PT.
- Anchor the resistance band around a stable object. You want it to be about the same height as your knee. (The leg on a heavy table is a good place, but make sure it does not move.)
- Enter the loop with the leg you want to train.
- Face the anchor point with the resistance band looped around the knee. Bend slightly at the knee.
- Slowly straighten the knee, put tension on the strap. The band should provide some resistance when trying to straighten the knee completely.
- When the knee is straight, and the strap is tight, hold the position for 3 seconds.
- Slowly bend your knee again.
- Repeat the exercise 15 times.