Ways to Improve Knee Extension_Prep Performance Center

Top 10 Ways to Improve Knee Extension

After ACL-R Surgery

Knee Extension – After ACL surgery, rehab can be a slow, painful process – but it doesn’t have to be!

A big part of ACL surgery rehab is improving your knee flexion (bending your knee) and knee extension (straightening your knee).

However, if you properly warm your knee up, these 10 simple steps for improving your knee extension or helping you strengthen your knee better should be easy to complete. See related article by Mayo Clinic.

Please note that all of these exercises should be approved by your orthopedic surgeon and Doctor of Physical Therapy. In order to protect your knee and the soft tissue that was repaired, you want to be approved to add these exercises.

Below you will find the secret to improving knee extension, and being able to strengthen your knee with little to no pain.

If you can follow these steps, I am confident you will meet your range of motion goals in no time and with limited to no pain along the way.

Pain Management (Knee Extension)

  • Elevate your legs for 20 mins and take your pain meds at least 20 min before


  • Ice an hour and then Wrap your knee with an Ace Wrap to minimize swelling after icing


  • Walk for 10min prior to beginning your program (bend your knee when walking)

Effleurage (Knee Extension)

  • Complete Effleurage for 3-5 min to reduce swelling
  • Gently massage your leg and pull up towards your heart

Hamstring Stretch

  • Complete Hamstring Stretch on bed 3 x 45s
  • Lie on back and use a strap to pull leg toward ceiling

Thomas Test Stretch

  • Complete Modified Thomas Test Stretch 3 x 45s
  • Lie on back and gently let surgical leg hang off edge of bed

Quad Set (Knee Extension)

  • Complete Quad Set 2 x 10 5s hold (Use Towel Roll for Cues)
  • Lie on your back, towel behind knee, squeeze quad and straighten leg

Straight leg Raise

  • Complete Straight Leg Raise 3 x 10
  • Lie on your back, Quad Set into towel, then raise leg (toes to nose)

Prone Quad Set

  • Complete Prone Quad Set  2 x 10 (5s hold)
  • Lie on your belly, toes pointing down, squeeze quad and straighten knee to ceiling

Prone Knee Hang (Knee Extension)

  • Complete Prone Knee Hang 3 x 1min Adding a minute as tolerated
  • Lie on your belly with your knee and calf hanging off the bed

Read More Article: 11 Steps To Improve Knee Flexion After ACL Surgery

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