Reproduced from OrthoInfo. © American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Main muscles worked: Quadriceps

You should feel this exercise at the front of your thigh

Equipment needed: As the exercise becomes easier to perform, gradually increase the resistance by adding an ankle weight. Begin with a 5 lb. weight and gradually progress to a greater level of resistance, up to a 10 lb. weight. If you have access to a fitness center, this exercise can also be performed on a weight machine. A fitness assistant at your gym can instruct you on how to use the machines safely.

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit up straight on a chair or bench.
  • Tighten your thigh muscles and slowly straighten and raise your affected leg as high as possible.
  • Squeeze your thigh muscles and hold this position for 5 seconds. Relax and bring your foot to the floor. Repeat.

Tip: Do not swing your leg or use forceful momentum to lift it higher.

Repetitions: 3 sets of 10

Days per week: 4 to 5

Download a PDF that includes more knee conditioning exercises.

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