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Thigh Bruise and Strain Exercises

Your healthcare provider may recommend exercises to help you heal. Talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you and how to do them correctly and safely.

You may do all of these exercises right away as long as you do not have any sharp pain in your thigh.

  • Quad sets: Sit on the floor with your injured leg straight and your other leg bent. Press the back of the knee of your injured leg against the floor by tightening the muscles on the top of your thigh. Hold this position 10 seconds. Relax. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Straight leg raise: Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend the knee on your uninjured side and place the foot flat on the floor. Tighten the thigh muscle on your injured side and lift your leg about 8 inches off the floor. Keep your leg straight and your thigh muscle tight. Slowly lower your leg back down to the floor. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Heel slide: Sit on a firm surface with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly slide the heel of the foot on your injured side toward your buttock by pulling your knee toward your chest as you slide the heel. Return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Quadriceps stretch: Stand at an arm’s length away from the wall with your injured side farthest from the wall. Facing straight ahead, brace yourself by keeping one hand against the wall. With your other hand, grasp the ankle on your injured side and pull your heel toward your buttocks. Don’t arch or twist your back. Keep your knees together. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Prone knee bend: Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you. Bend the knee on your injured side so that your heel comes toward your buttocks. Hold 5 seconds. Relax and return your foot to the floor. Do 2 sets of 15. As this gets easier you can add weights to your ankle.

When you have no pain when you walk or climb stairs, you can start doing the next 2 exercises.

  • Wall squat: Stand with your back, shoulders, and head against a wall and look straight ahead. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your feet about 3 feet (90 centimeters) away from the wall and a shoulder’s width apart. Keeping your head against the wall, slide down the wall. Lower your buttocks toward the floor until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Make sure to tighten your thigh muscles as you slowly slide back up to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12. You can increase the amount of time you are in the lower position to help strengthen your quadriceps muscles.
  • Step-up: Stand with the foot of your injured leg on a support 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) high –like a small step or block of wood. Keep your other foot flat on the floor. Shift your weight onto the injured leg on the support. Straighten your injured leg as the other leg comes off the floor. Return to the starting position by bending your injured leg and slowly lowering your uninjured leg back to the floor. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Lunge: Stand and take a large step forward with your right leg. Dip your left knee down toward the floor and bend your right leg. Return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise stepping forward with the left leg and dipping your right leg down toward the floor. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12 on each side. When this gets easy, you can do this exercise with small weights in your hands.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-06-09
Last reviewed: 2014-01-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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