Muscle Conditioning: Exercises

Skip Navigation


Here are some examples of exercises for muscle conditioning. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physical therapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Wall push-up

slide 1 of 4
slide 1 of 4, Wall push-up,
  1. Stand facing a wall with your feet about 12 to 24 inches from the wall. If you feel any pain when you do this exercise, stand closer to the wall.
  2. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height, slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Turn your fingers out a little, rather than straight up and down.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows and bring your face toward the wall, keeping your shoulders and hips lined up. Then slowly push back to the starting position. Keep the motion smooth and controlled.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

When you can do this exercise against a wall with ease and no pain, you can try it against a counter. You can then slowly progress to the end of a couch, then to a sturdy chair, and finally to the floor.

Quadriceps (thigh) strengthening

slide 2 of 4
slide 2 of 4, Quadriceps (thigh) strengthening,
  1. While sitting in a chair, straighten one leg and hold for 6 seconds. Do not lock your knee. Then slowly lower your leg.
  2. Repeat 8 to 12 times with each leg.

When this exercise becomes easy, you can add a light weight to your ankle.

Hip abduction (lying on side)

slide 3 of 4
slide 3 of 4, Hip abduction (lying on side),
  1. Lie on your side, with your affected leg on top. You can use your hand or a pillow to support your head.
  2. Keep your knee straight and your leg in a straight line with your body.
  3. Lift your affected leg straight up toward the ceiling, about 12 inches off the floor. Hold for about 6 seconds, then slowly lower your leg.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  5. It's a good idea to repeat these steps on your other side.
  • Keep your kneecap pointing forward.
  • Don't let your hip drop back.

Shallow standing knee bend

slide 4 of 4
slide 4 of 4, Shallow standing knee bend,
  1. Stand with your hands lightly resting on a counter or chair in front of you. Put your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees so that you squat down like you're going to sit in a chair. Make sure that your knees don't go in front of your toes.
  3. Lower yourself about 6 inches. Your heels should stay on the floor at all times.
  4. Rise slowly to a standing position.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.