Knee extension exercises strengthen the muscles in your quadriceps and help stabilize your knee. Strong knees are especially important to help stabilize you on rough trails and absorb the impact of mountain descents. Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program and if you are in physical therapy, stay within your guidelines.
Terminal Knee Extension
Lie on your back. Place a rolled towel or a pillow under your knee so it rests at about a 120-degree angle. Contracting the quadriceps, extend and straighten your knee. Flex your foot and hold the position from three to five seconds. Lower your knee slowly and repeat for 10 repetitions.
Seated Chair Extension
Sit in a chair with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Use your abdominal muscles to support your back as you sit up straight in the chair. Lift one foot off the ground and extend your knee to straighten your leg. Hold for three to five seconds, then slowly lower your leg to the ground. Switch legs and repeat on the other side. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions.
Standing Knee Extension
Stand with one hand placed on a chair or table for stability. Extend one leg in front of you while you balance on the opposite foot. With your leg straight, lift your leg to the height of your hip. Lower it back to the ground slowly. Repeat this exercise 10 times and switch to the other leg. Aim for three sets.
Sitting Knee Extension
Sit on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Keep your back upright and bend one knee toward your chest. Put this foot on the floor and wrap your hands around your knee to provide stability. Lift your straight leg off the ground with your foot pointed toward the ceiling. Lift your leg only as high as you can without bending it or slouching your back. Bring it back to the floor and repeat 10 times before switching legs.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.