Lower Extremity Passive ROM Exercises

     Lower extremity passive exercises are for someone else to stretch your hips, legs, and knees if you are unable to do this yourself. These exercises should be done slowly and gently while you are lying on your back. Each exercise should be done ten times on each leg each day.

Hip and Knee Flexion and Extension

     Cradle the leg by placing one hand under the bent knee. With the other hand, grasp the hip (or place it under the heel) for stabilization. Lift the knee and bend it toward the chest, with the kneecap pointed toward the ceiling. Do not allow the hip to twist during this movement. The foot should stay in a straight line with the hip and not swing in or out. The leg is then lowered to the starting position.

Hip and Knee Flexion and Extension

Hamstring Stretching (Straight Leg Raises)

    Method # 1 - Kneel between the legs and support the ankle with your arm or shoulder. The knee will be straight. Place one or both hands just above your knee, stabilizing the hip joint. If one hand is used, the other hand will be placed on the thigh of the other leg to keep it on the bed. If both hands are used, the person's knee may rest lightly on your other thigh. Raise the leg straight up to approximately 90 degrees.

Hamstring Stretching

    Method #2 - Place one hand under the knee and the other hand under the heel. With the knee straight and the kneecap pointed toward the ceiling, raise the whole leg toward the ceiling. When the raised knee begins to bend slightly, the hand under your knee should be moved to the top of your knee.

Hip Internal and External Rotation

    Place one hand on top of the knee and the other hand under the heel. Bend the knee halfway to the chest so that there is a 90 degree angle at the hip and knee. Pull the foot toward you and then push it away.


    Place one hand on the thigh and other hand below the knee. Roll the leg inward until the kneecap faces the other leg. Then roll the leg outward in the opposite direction. The leg always stays straight in alignment and rolls like a log.

Hip Abduction and Adduction

Cradle the leg by placing your hand under your knee and holding it. Place the other hand under the heel, or on the hip, to stabilize the hip joint. Keeping your knee straight, move the leg along the surface of the bed, toward you and away from the other leg, to approximately 45 degrees. Then bring the leg back to the other leg.

Hip Abduction and Adduction

Heel-Cord Stretching

     Place one hand on the knee to prevent it from bending. Your other hand cups or cradles the heel and your forearm is placed against the ball of the foot. Push the ball of the foot forward, bending the foot toward the knee and stretching the muscles in the back of the leg.

Heel-Cord Stretching

Ankle Dorsification

Place one hand under the heel, with the foot against the forearm, and push the heel downward with this hand.

     To stretch one muscle (the gastrocnemius), extend the knee, place the other hand on top of the ankle, and push in the opposite direction

     To stretch the second muscle (the soleus), flex the knee, place the other hand under the calf, and push in the opposite direction.

Foot Inversion and Eversion

     With one hand, hold the foot near the heel. With the other hand, hold the lower leg near the ankle. The foot is moved from side to side or in a circle (up, in, down, out).

Toe Flexion and Extension

    With one hand, stabilize the foot just below the toes. With the other hand, gently move each or all of the toes forward and backward.

Hip Extension

     Place the person on his or her side and stand behind them. Place one hand under the knee with the lower leg resting on your forearm. With the other hand, hold your pelvis in place. Pull the leg backward and toward you.


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