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Strength Training – Lower Limb

Mode | Intensity | Protocol | Duration | Frequency | Type

An adequate lower limb strengthening program can be devised with or without weight equipment.  Exercises should be performed slowly and smoothly.

Strength training with weights:

  • Leg press.
  • Quadriceps extension.

Strength training without weights:

  • Squats.
  • Straight leg raise.
  • Step-ups (on box or on the stairs).
  • Sit-to-stand from progressively lower chairs.

Examples of lower limb strengthening exercises without weights are shown below.

  • Patient performs 8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise (1 set).
  • Build up to 3 sets of each exercise.
  • Progress as suggested for each exercise shown below.

Lower Limb Strength Exercises

(high weight and low repetition)

Exercise #1
Knee extensions in sitting
  • Sit in a chair.

  • Straighten your knee.

  • Hold the knee straight for five seconds, and then relax.

  • Repeat for other leg.

  • Progression:
    • Add weights to legs.

Exercise #2
  • Lean your back against a wall.

  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel with floor.

  • Slide up the wall to a standing position.

  • Start with only sliding down a short way.

  • Progression:
    • Increase depth of slide down.

Exercise #3
Climbing stairs or use a stepping box
  • Your instructor can help you with this exercise.

  • Progression:
    • Increase the number of steps.

    • Increase the height of the step (or walk up two steps at a time).

    • Carry a weight on your back.

Tip: It is often advisable to perform lower limb endurance training as a “warm-up” before strength training.