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LEG EXERCISES

 

Remember – Exercise should never be painful

The exercises in this section are only examples of possible exercises for various stages of rehabilitation. The number of reps, sets and hold periods of each exercise will depend on your stage of rehabilitation, your strength and range of movement.

Please consult your physiotherapist before embarking on a rehabilitation program. The physio will advise you about the intensity, frequency, speed and number of reps of each exercise. The physio will prescribe the correct exercises at the correct stage in your rehabilitation program. A good rehabilitation program is tailor made to each specific person or patient.

The only exercises that work are the ones that you do!

QUADRICEPS EXERCISES

How to put your foot through the theraband.

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Hold the theraband with one hand and place the other hand inside the theraband. Twist the end of the band to form a figure of eight. Place your foot in the first circle and then through the second circle of the figure eight. It will form a cross across the top of your foot. This prevents the theraband from sliding up your leg whilst doing the excercise.

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Extensions with theraband

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extentions with theraband 2; p44
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Sit on your bed (or chair) near the corner with your thighs fully supported on the bed.

Attach the theraband to the leg of the bed and your ankle.

Flex your foot and slowly straighten your knee.

Slowly release the contraction by bending your knee.

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Squat

squat 1,p93
squat 2,p94

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

Bend your knees and bend forward at your hips as if you are going to sit on a chair.

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Your knees must point in the direction of your middle 3 toes and must not drop towards each other.

Your knees may not extend over the front of your toes. Do not round your back.

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GLUTS EXERCISES

Hip Extension in prone

hip extension in prone 1, p47
hip extention in prone 2, p50

Lie on your stomach with a pillow or 2 under your hips.

Lift your knee a few centimetres off the bed and hold.

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Bridging

bridging 1; p30
bridging 2; p31

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet and knees slightly apart.

Your knees must be in line with ankles.

Lift your buttock off the floor.

If you don’t bend your knees sufficiently your hamstring muscles may cramp.

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Alternative Bridging 1

alt bridging with rolled-up towel between knees 1; p20
alt bridging with rolled-up towel between knees 2, p21

Repeat bridging above squeezing a ball/or a rolled up towel between your knees.

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Alternative Bridging 2

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Repeat bridging above with theraband around your knees.

Push your knees outwards against the theraband throughout  the exercise.

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Advanced Bridging – 1

advanced bridging 1,1; p6
advanced bridging 1,2; p7

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet and knees slightly apart.

Your knees must be in line with your ankles.

Hold a weight on your stomach.

Lift your buttock off the floor.

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Advanced Bridging – 2

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advanced bridging -2,2; p8

Lie on your back with one ankle crossed over the opposite knee.

Lift your buttock off the floor.

Repeat the exercise with the opposite leg.

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Advanced Bridging – 3

advanced bridging -3,1; p12
advanced bridging -3,2; p13

Lie  on your back with one knee bent and the other knee straight.

Lift your buttock off the floor.

Repeat the exercise with the opposite leg.

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Advanced Bridging – 4

advanced bridging 4,1; p9
advanced bridging 4,2; p10

Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other knee straight.

Squeeze a ball (or cushion/rolled up towel) between your knees.

Lift your buttock off the floor.

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Advanced Bridging – 5

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Lie  on your back with one knee bent and the other knee straight.

Hold a weight on your stomach.

Lift your buttock off the floor.

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OUTER THIGH MUSCLE EXERCISES

In side-lying

outer thigh muscle exercises (a) in side-lying 1; p81
outer thigh muscle exercises (a) in side lying 2; p80

Lie on your side supporting your body with your arm in front of you.

Your bottom leg is bent and the top leg is straight.

Lift your top leg toward the ceiling.

Keep your hips still and square (do not rotate them).

You lift out of the hip and not from the waist.

Your back is always still.

To concentrate the exercise to your gluteus medius posterior muscle repeat the above exercise with your hip slightly extended and outwardly rotated. (Toes pointing to the ceiling). [see glut medius posterior exercise below]

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In Standing

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Stand on your left leg.

Drop your right hip and knee slowly downwards towards the floor keeping your hips square to the front.

Your left hip will move to the left side.

This is the starting position.

Now raise your right hip until it is higher than the left.

This is the end position.

Slowly release to starting position again.

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In standing with Therband

outer thigh muscle exercises - in standing with theraband 1; p78
outer thigh muscle exercises - in standing with theraband 2; p79

Stand sideways to the chair.

Attach theraband to the leg of your chair and to your ankle furthest from the chair as in the photo.

Lift your leg sideways away from the chair.

Keep your hips square to the front.

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Clam

clam 1; p39
clam 2; p40

Lie on your side on the floor (or bed) with both hips and knees bent.

Your shoulders, hips and ankles are in a straight line.

Lift your upper knee away from the bottom knee without rotating your hip backwards.

Your knee won’t be able to lift very high if you do the exercise correctly.

Your top foot stays rested on the bottom foot.

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Advanced Clam

advanced clam 1; p41
advanced clam 2; p42

Progress the clam exercise by repeating it with your top leg slightly raised away from the bottom leg.

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Glut medius posterior excercise

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Lie on our side with your bottom hip and knee bent.

Your top leg is straight.

Extend your top hip so that your ankle is behind your hip.

Rotate your hip so that your toes are pointing upwards.

This is the start position.

Now lift your foot up towards the ceiling.

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Do not let your top hip roll backwards. Keep your hip forward.

Slowly lower your leg keeping your hip outwardly rotated and extended.

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HAMSTRING EXERCISES

Theraband Hamstring Exercise

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Tie theraband around the foot of a chair (or bed) and around one ankle.

Stand upright holding onto the back of a chair.

Bend your knee against the theraband.

Your knees must stay in line with one another.

Hold.

Slowly release the contraction until your toes touch the floor.

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HAMSTRING KNEELING EXERCISE

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Kneel on the floor holding onto a pilates ball.

Roll the ball forward keeping your body in a straight line.

Do not bend forward at the hips.

Hold.

Roll the ball backwards toward you until your are in the upright position.

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HIP EXERCISES IN STANDING WITH THERABAND

Hip Extension Excercise

hip extension in standing 1; p48
hip extension in standing 2; p49

Stand holding onto the back of a chair.

The theraband is around the leg of the chair and your heel.

Push your ankle backwards against the theraband without leaning forward.

Slowly release.

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Inner thigh muscle exercise

inner thigh muscle exercises in standing with theraband 1; p56
inner thigh muscle exercises in standing with theraband 2; p57

Stand holding onto the side of a chair.

The theraband is around your ankle closest to the chair and the leg of the chair.

Cross your ankle in front of your other leg away from the chair against the theraband.

Slowly release.

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CALF MUSCLE EXERCISES

Theraband calf exercise

theraband calf exercise 1; p97
theraband calf exercise 2; p98

Sit on the floor (or bed) with your legs straight out in front of you.

Place the theraband around the ball of your foot with your foot flexed.

Pull the ends of the theraband taught.

Point your toes against the theraband.

Hold and then slowly release until your foot is flexed again.

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Calf raises

calf raises 1; p32
calf raises 2; p33

Stand on both feet holding onto the wall (or chair).

Raise your heels off the ground going up onto your toes as high as possible.

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You can progress this exercise by :

(1)    not holding on so you have to balance

calf raises (2); p34

(2) repeating the exercise on one leg

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(3) repeating the exercise standing on the edge of a step. First on both legs and then progress to one leg.

When you do the calf raise on a step, drop your heels right down to start and then push up as high as possible onto our toes. Firstly holding on and then without holding on.