This exercise is intended to work on increasing strength and proprioception (balance) within the entire lower extremity. It will help on increasing strength within all of the muscle groups within the leg (Hamstrings, Quadriceps and Calves) and increase balance and coordination within the lower extremity.
Why do this Exercise?
To increase proprioception and strength within the lower extremity. This will assist with increasing joint stability within the knee joint.
None or dumbbells/weights.
Standing on a firm surface (floor) with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, straight back and knees slightly bent (5° or less). Place your hands on your hips. Throughout this exercise focus on maintaining a straight back and not allowing your upper body to lean forward throughout the exercise.
While maintaining the starting posture, step forward with your affected leg (approximately 2-3 feet). Do not step out to far. Slowly begin to transfer your weight from your back (unaffected leg) to your front (affected leg) and begin to lower your body downward by bending your affected knee. Do not allow your knee to pass forward beyond the toes of your affected foot. If you look down you should be able to see your toes, if you can not you have gone too far. Once you reach this point begin to push up and back with your affected leg, eventually returning to the original starting position. Rest for 3-5 seconds and then repeat 10 times. As strength and control increase you can increase from 1 set of 10 reps up to 3 sets of 10 reps. This exercise should be repeated 1-2 times per day.
This exercise should only be performed within a pain free range of motion. 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. If you feel your muscles getting fatigued (a good thing) and you begin losing control (leg begins twitching) stop and return to the exercise at another time. Do not use quick jerky movements with this exercise; it is intended to be performed in a slow and controlled motion. Maintain an upright posture throughout the exercise. There are several modifications that can be made to increase the difficulty of this exercise once you progress in control and ability: 1) Increasing the degree of bend on your affected leg (not to go beyond 90°) and/or 2) Adding weight into the exercise by holding 2 dumbbells or other equally weighted objects in your hands throughout the exercise.