Blog Fitness Workouts Terminal Knee Extension Exercises And Why You May Need Them

Terminal Knee Extension Exercises And Why You May Need Them

terminal knee extension

What Is Terminal Knee Extension Exercise?

These days the aspiration to maintain a healthy lifestyle keeps gaining traction all around the world.Thousands of people all over the world stick to healthy diets and perform workouts on a regular basis to prolong life expectancy and become stronger (2). However, sometimes even healthy habits may lead to health issues. There are physical exercises which overstress certain muscle groups and cause traumas. Weightlifting workouts that overload/stress the knee joint may lead to injuries. That’s why strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee such as the quadriceps can place less stress on the joint and reduce injury risk.


Terminal knee extension exercises are special moves with a knee strengthening effect. They help to prevent and reduce knee pain after physical exercises and are in widespread use in rehabilitation therapy.

terminal knee extension

What Is The Purpose Of Terminal Knee Extension Exercises?

First of all there are several reasons why you may need knee locking exercises. They are common both among those who perform physical exercises in order to lose weight or to keep fit and among professional sportsmen. Terminal knee extension exercises are effective because they help strengthen the quadriceps which are important in extending the leg. TKE help to remove knee pain by strengthening the muscles involved in extending the leg and placing less stress on the actual knee joint.

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These exercises will also be beneficial for those who need rehabilitation after sustaining physical trauma or undergoing surgery (for example, total knee replacement (3) or ACL (1)). They need simpler exercises just to be able to straighten their leg completely and restore normal knee function.

terminal knee extension

Read More: Balance Exercises For Seniors: Simple Moves To Help Improve Balance And Coordination In Older Adults

What Muscle Is Responsible For Terminal Knee Extension?

Your quadriceps consists of a group of muscles, and one of them is responsible for terminal knee extension. It is called vastus medialis oblique, and it is essential to focus on it during rehabilitation after some trauma or surgery.

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Terminal Knee Extension Exercises

There is quite a wide range of this type of exercises. Below you’ll find four rather simple moves which you’ll be able to perform even at home.

The first three exercises are more suitable for people who need recovery. Keep in mind that it is strongly recommended to consult with your healthcare professional before tackling them.

terminal knee extension

Forced Leg Extensions

Sit down on the floor and straighten your legs. Try to place the backs of your knees on the floor. If you can’t, you may press one of your knees to the floor with your hand for 30 seconds. Do the same with the second knee. Perform this move for 5-20 minutes a day.

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Prone Knee Extensions

Lie down on your belly and straighten your legs. Place a rolled towel under your shin bones close to your feet and straighten your knees for 5 seconds. Get back to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

terminal knee extension

Quad Sets

Sit down on the floor and straighten your tighter leg. Place your healthy leg bent, the foot should be on the floor. Lean against the wall. Now you should press the back of your knee to the floor and squeeze your quad muscle. Keep this position for at least 6 seconds and relax for 10 seconds. Do 8-12 reps several times a day.

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Lying Knee Extension

For these exercises you need a resistance band. Lie down on your back. The resistance band should be wrapped around your ankle. Now pull your leg with the band to your chest.  Very carefully and slowly straighten your leg for a second and get back to the starting position. Do the same exercise with the second leg. 12-15 reps for each leg and 3-4 sets will be enough.

terminal knee extension

First three moves are more suitable for people who need recovery. The fourth exercise is effective for those who just want to strengthen their knees.

So, as you can see, these moves are quite simple to perform. Remember to do everything carefully and make sure that you don’t feel pain while performing these moves.

Do I Need Any Equipment To Perform These Exercises?

There are exercises which need a resistance band and a rolled towel. If you want you may also use a mat to make your training more comfortable.

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terminal knee extension


Terminal knee extension exercises can help you to stay strong and healthy and perform your workouts correctly and safely. These moves will help you achieve normal knee function, alleviate post-injury and post-op symptoms. All of them are quite simple, effort-sparing and time-saving.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. ACL reconstruction (2018,
  2. Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population (2018,
  3. Total Knee Replacement Exercise Guide (2017,