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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 stretch 

quadriceps stretch; p86

Stand on 1 leg whilst holding onto the wall/chair.

Grab around the other ankle and pull your foot up and away from our buttock until you feel

the stretch along the front of your thigh.

Keep you knee facing toward the floor and close to the other leg (i.e. do not let your knee move outwards to the side or the stretch will be ineffective).

quadriceps stretch X; p87

DO NOT: Try to put your heel on your buttock .

quadriceps stretch XX; p88

DO NOT: Let your knee point outwards but keep it pointing to the floor.

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Alternative quads stretch 

alternative quads stretch; p28

Lie on your stomach with a rolled up towel/pillow under your bent knee.

The fatter the pillow the more stretche you’ll feel along the front of your thigh.

Pull your foot up and away from your buttock until you feel the stretch along the front of your thigh.

Push your hip down toward the bed for even more stretch.

If you try and pull your foot onto your buttock the stretching is not effective and you may strain your knee.

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Gluts Stretch

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(a)  Lie on your back with your knees bent.

Cross your left ankle over the right knee.

Grab behind your right knee with both hands.

Pull your knee towards your chest.

You will feel the stretch in the left gluts muscle.

Hold.

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(b) Lie on your back with your knee bent.

Cross your left knee over the right knee.

Grab behind your knees with both hands.

Pull your knees towards your chest.

You will feel the stretch in the left gluts muscle.

Hold.

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Adductor stretch 

adductor stretch 1; p4
adductor stretch 2; p5

Lie on the floor with your legs up against the wall and your buttock as close to the wall as is comfortable. Your knees are straight.

Let your legs drop to the sides along the wall away from each other until you feel the stretch along your inner thighs.

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Abductor stretch 

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2

Lean against the wall with your shoulder, keeping your arm forward and out of the way.

Your feet are together away from the wall and your hips are facing forward (not rotated).

Drop your hips toward the wall until you feel the stretch along your outer thigh closest to the wall.

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Alternative abductor stretch 

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Lie diagonally on a bed on your side with your hips close to the edge of the bed and your shoulders right onto the bed.

The bottom hip and knee are bent.

Drop your upper leg over the edge of the bed until your feel the stretching along your outer thigh.

Do not roll your upper hip backwards or you will not feel the stretch.

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Hip flexor stretch 

hip flexor stretch; p51

Place your foot onto a chair.

Lean onto your front foot keeping your body upright.

hip flexor stretch X ; p52

DO NOT: lean forward

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Hamstring Stretch 

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Lie on your back on the floor with one leg straight through the doorway and the other leg up against the wall.

Move your buttock closer to the wall until you feel the stretch along the back of your upper leg.

Keep your foot relaxed and not flexed or you will place too much tension on your sciatic nerve.

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Alternative hamstring stretch 

alternative hamstring stretch; p26

Stand with one foot on a chair or bankie/stool with your foot pointed or relaxed.

Do not flex your foot or you will place too much tension on your sciatic nerve.

Lean forward at your hips until you feel the stretching along the back of your upper leg.

Keep your pelvis tilted forward and do not round your back.

alternative hamstring stretch X; 27

DO NOT: Flex your foot as it places too much tension on your nerve.

alternative hamstring stretch XX; p29

DO NOT:  Tilt your pelvis backwards as you will lose the stretch.

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Calf stretches

1. Sitting Stretch (non-weight bearing)  

calf stretchs - (a) sitting stretch (non-weight bearing); 38

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

Place a towel (or belt or strap) around the ball of your foot with your foot relaxed.

Pull the ends of the belt towards you until you feel the stretch along the back of your lower leg (calf muscle).

2. Standing (weight bearing)

calf stretch -(b)-standing (weight bearing); p35

Hold onto the wall/chair standing with one leg in front of the other.

Lean forward onto the bent knee until you feel the stretch in the calf muscle of your back leg.

Keep the heel of your back foot on the floor.

Both feet are facing forward.

Keep your body upright and hips facing forward (not rotated) and push your hips forward.

calf stretch standing XX; p37

DO NOT: Rotate your toes outwards but keep them pointing forwards.

calf stretch standing X; p36

DO NOT: Rotate your pelvis but keep your hips facing forwards.

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Achilles stretch 

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Repeat the above exercise but with your back knee slightly bent.

This takes the stretching away from your calf muscle down to the Achilles Tendon.

Feel the stretch above your heel in the Achilles Tendon.

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