Active Assisted Knee Flexion
This exercise is intended to work on stretching the quadriceps muscles on the anterior (front) aspect of the leg being worked as well as increasing passive Range of Motion (ROM) for knee flexion. It will focus specifically on developing quadriceps (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedius and Vastus Medialis Obliques) flexibility and achieving full knee flexion ROM.
Why do this Exercise?
To increase flexibility within the quadriceps and increase passive ROM for knee flexion.
Table and a Folded Towel.
Seated with a straight back on the edge of a hard surfaced table, high enough to allow your legs to hang off without touching the floor, with arms at your side to offer support. You should be seated back enough so that the back of your knees touch up against the edge of the table. Place the folded towel underneath your thigh so it lies between your leg and the table. Position your unaffected leg/ankle underneath that of your affected leg to give it support in the most comfortable position for you, typically bent around 45°. As you perform the exercise concentrate on keeping your affected leg as relaxed as possible.
Concentrate on relaxing the muscles of your affected leg. Use your unaffected leg to lower your affected leg as far as possible. This motion should be performed in a slow, smooth and controlled motion. Remove your unaffected leg and place it in front of your affected leg. You will then use it to push your affected leg backwards, bending it as for as tolerable. You should feel muscle tension within your quadriceps muscles. Hold your leg in the bent position for 15-30 seconds. Then, place your unaffected leg back underneath and use it to raise your affected leg back up to a comfortable position. Hold the rest position for 10-15 seconds and then repeat the stretch. Repeat this exercise 10 times. As ROM and comfort level increase, you can increase from 1 set of 10 reps up to 3 sets o
This exercise should only be performed within a pain free range of motion. You should feel tension within your muscles but not sharp pain within your knee joint. Do not continue this exercise if there is pain, swelling or a significant increase in skin temperature (skin becomes hot/warm to the touch). The recommended repetitions are here to serve as guideline. Keep in mind that each person is different and you must modify your activity according to the feedback your body provides. Do not perform this exercise on a soft surface (i.e. bed) because it will not achieve the desired results. Do not use quick jerky movements with this exercise; it is intended to be performed in a slow and controlled motion. If you find that the edge of the table is limiting the amount of flexion you can ac