Gaining Terminal Knee Extension

  • Gaining full active terminal knee extension is one of the most important things after any knee injury or surgery, especially after an ACLr. While there are many more “fancy” drills I incorporate from time to time, the single most important thing I emphasize to get full knee extension is to actually ensure the patient is actively pushing into end range with every rep.
  • It’s extremely common to stop just shy of end range extension at the top of reps. Naturally end range is the “end” because it’s neurologically past whatever zone of ROM we are “comfortable” with. That being said, instead of spending an hour hanging out into passive extension or doing a more fancy drill to work terminal knee extension, just push and remind your clients to fully extend. Drive through their heel. Fully squeeze their quad. And feel a stretch at the top of EVERY REP. Think of the volume of reps in 1 session…that’s potentially hundreds of opportunities to drive home terminal knee extension. Don’t waste your reps!!
  • I really like adding a single leg balance component to my closed chain exercises to encourage terminal knee extension. The 3 videos are just examples. Just remember, every squat, step, or lunge has a period of knee extension ROM in it, take advantage of it and push into the end range.

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