Leg Extension

The difficulty performing the leg extension exercise lies in maintaining trunk and knee position, as there’s a strong tendency to arch your back (places extra stress on your spine) as well as allow your knees to collapse inward (increases knee forces).

This exercise targets your thighs, hip and abdominal muscles.

Maintain position of your trunk and knees during the exercise to facilitate muscle activation and joint protection (especially for low back & knees).

If you’ve had a knee or low back injury, this is an advanced exercise that shouldn’t be performed until later in physical therapy.

Starting Position

Sit down with and adjust the footrest so that it crosses your ankles. Set your knees at exactly 90 degrees while pressing your pelvis into the seat by pulling down on the handles (helps protect your back). Lift your knees up slightly while pulling your belly inward away from your pant line.


While maintaining trunk/pelvis/knee position, extend your knees from the 90-degree position to 50 degrees, then lower to 90 degrees while keeping your knees up slightly (very difficult!).

Repeat as directed by your physical therapist.

Schedule an Evaluation

We strongly recommend that you do not attempt to perform any of our exercises without formal training from our physical therapists so as to avoid potential injury. The exercises shown have specific purpose and yield benefits when performed in conjunction with a complete therapy program that is customized to each patient. The only way this can be initiated is through an initial evaluation.

Call c.h. Physical Therapy at

(503) 601-9000


Portland Physical Therapy

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