Quadriceps strengthening exercise options (Q1 - Q11)

Quickly navigate to specific exercises by clicking the links found along the left side of the screen.

Exercise Q1. Seated knee extension

Starting position
Sit in a firm chair (one that is higher if possible).

 

Exercise
Slowly lift your foot up and straighten the knee until it is fully straight.

 

Keep the back of your thigh on the chair.

 

Hold for 5 seconds and lower slowly.


Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down”.

 

Variation: with elastic band
Tie your elastic band into a loop. 
Place the looped elastic band around the back leg of a chair.

 

Sit on the chair and put your leg into the loop with the band around the front of your foot.

 

Change colour of elastic band – red through to blue.
 

 

Exercise Q2. Inner range quads over roll 

Starting position

Lie on a mat on the floor or on a firm bed. 


Put a rolled up towel under your arthritis knee. Your knee will be slightly bent. 


Keep the knee cap and toes pointing toward the roof. 

 

Exercise

Keeping the back of the knee in contact with the towel, push the back of your knee down into the towel and straighten your arthritis leg and SLOWLY lift the heel off the surface over 2 seconds.
 

Hold leg as straight as it will go for 5 seconds then SLOWLY lower down over 2 seconds. 


Slowly up, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly down”.

 

 
 

Exercise Q3. Sit to stand (without using hands)

Starting position

Sit in a firm chair. Place the chair back against a wall for support if needed.
 

Place your feet shoulder width apart

 

Exercise

Slowly stand without using your hands to help. 
 

Start by leaning forward bringing your nose over your toes. 
 

Keep your knees in line with your toes. 
 

As you lift up from the chair, straighten your legs until you are fully straight. 
Sit back down slowly.

Variations: 

1. Use a lower chair to make it more challenging to stand up.


2. Hold for 3 seconds with the buttocks just off the chair without touching down.


3. Add a loop of elastic band around your knees and push outwards against this as you stand up, keeping your knees over your toes.
 

Exercise Q4. Chair stands with more weight on arthritis leg

Starting position

Sit in a chair. Place the chair back against a wall for support if needed.


Place your feet shoulder width apart.

 

Take more weight on your arthritis leg by either (a) placing your good leg further forward, or (b) shifting both your feet sideways so your arthritis leg is lined up with the middle of your body.

 

Exercise

Stand up from the chair slowly (count 4 seconds) without using your hands. 
 

Slowly return to sitting (count 4 seconds).
 

Up, 2, 3, 4, down, 2, 3, 4”.
 

Keep your knee in line with your foot during the exercise.
 

Try to have more than half your body weight on your arthritis leg through the whole exercise

 

Exercise Q5. Step ups

Starting position

Place your arthritis leg onto a step in front of you.

 

Be safe!! Use a hand support (back of chair or handrail) for balance if required.

 

Exercise

Step up onto the step slowly and steadily. 

 

Just lightly touch your other leg to the step, and then step it back down slowly to the start position.


Your weight should be on your arthritis leg through the whole exercise.

 

Concentrate on keeping your knee positioned over your foot throughout.

 

Variation: 

Lower the step height to make it easier / use a higher step to make it more challenging.

 

Exercise Q6. Forward touch downs from a step

Starting position

Stand with both feet on a step.
 

Be safe!! Use a hand support (back of chair or handrail) for balance if required.

 

Exercise

Slowly and steadily bend your arthritis knee while you reach your opposite foot towards the floor in front. If you can reach the floor, just touch it lightly. 
 

Then return to the starting position. 
 

Your weight should be on your arthritis leg through the whole exercise.
 

Concentrate on keeping your knee positioned over your foot throughout.

Variation: 

1. Lower the step height to make it easier / use a higher step to make it more challenging.
2. Don’t touch the floor.

 

 

Exercise Q7. Step ups with weight

Starting position

Hold 2kg of weight either

(a) against your chest,

(b) in each hand,

(c) in one hand while holding on for balance with the other, or

(d) in a backpack worn on your back.
 

Place your arthritis leg onto a step in front of you.
 

Weight can be a 2L milk bottle filled (2kg) or half filled (1kg) with water.
 

Be safe! Use a hand support (back of chair or hand rail) for balance if required.

 

Exercise

Step up onto the step slowly and steadily. 

 

Just lightly touch your other leg to the step, and then step it back down slowly to the start position.
 

Your weight should be on your arthritis leg through the whole exercise.
 

Concentrate on keeping your knee positioned over your foot throughout.

 

Variation: 

1.    Lower the step height to make it easier / use a higher step to make it more challenging.
2.    Increase the weight.

 

 

Exercise Q8. Forward touch downs with weight

Starting position

Stand with both feet on a step.
 

Hold 2kg of weight either (a) against your chest, (b) in each hand, (c) in one hand while holding on for balance with the other, or (d) in a backpack worn on your back.
 

Weight can be a 2L milk bottle filled (2kg) or half filled (1kg) with water.
 

Be safe! Use a hand support (back of chair or hand rail) for balance if required.

 

Exercise

Slowly and steadily bend your arthritis knee while you reach your opposite foot towards the floor in front. If you can reach the floor, just touch it lightly. 
 

Then return to the starting position. 
 

Your weight should be on your arthritis leg through the whole exercise.
 

Concentrate on keeping your knee positioned over your foot throughout.

Variation: 

1.    Lower the step height to make it easier / use a higher step to make it more challenging.
2.    Increase the weight.

 

 

Exercise Q9. Partial wall squats

Starting position

Gently lean against a wall. Keep your buttocks, back, and shoulders resting against the wall.

 

Step your feet away from the wall (about 30cm) with your feet hip-width apart.

 

Slightly turn your feet outwards.

 

Exercise

Slowly slide down the wall. Stop before your knees cover up your toes (or less if it is painful).

 

Hold for 5 seconds.

 

Slowly slide back up the wall.

“Slowly down, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly up”.

 

During the exercise:
Keep your buttocks, back, and shoulders resting against the wall. 

 

Keep your knees over your feet. Don’t let your knees collapse in.

 

Keep your heels on the ground.

Variation: 

1. Half way hold - Hold for 5 seconds in bent-knee position “Slowly down, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly up”.
2. Increase the amount of body weight taken through your arthritis knee.

 

 

Exercise Q10. Split leg wall squats

Starting position

Gently lean against a wall. Keep your buttocks, back, and shoulders resting against the wall.
 

Step your feet away from the wall (about 30cm) with your feet hip-width apart.
 

Move your non-arthritis leg a further 15cm away from the wall. Your arthritis leg will be slightly behind your non-arthritis leg

 

Exercise

Slowly slide down the wall. Take more weight through your arthritis leg (the leg closest to the wall).
 

Stop before your knees go past your toes (or less if it is painful).
 

Hold for 5 seconds.
 

Slowly slide back up the wall.
“Slowly down, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly up”.


During the exercise:
Keep your buttocks, back, and shoulders resting against the wall.

 

Keep your hips level.
 

Keep your knees over your feet. Don’t let your knees collapse in.
 

Keep your heels on the ground. 
 

 

Exercise Q11. Controlled squats

Starting position

Stand holding onto the back of a chair or table.
 

Start with your feet about shoulder width apart

 

Exercise

Slowly bend your knees as far as comfortable.
 

Keep your knees in line with your toes.
 

Hold for 5 seconds.
 

Slowly straighten your knees and return to standing.
 

“Slowly down, hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, slowly up”.