Exercises for thigh problems

These exercises can help to get you moving normally, and safely, if you've a muscle or joint problem affecting your thigh.

These video shows the whole movement so don't worry if you can't do it all.

How many and how often

Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. Add an extra 1 or 2 repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.

When to stop

Stop these exercises if they make your symptoms worse, or cause new pain.

If your symptoms don't improve after 2 weeks, phone the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Helpline (only available in some health board regions).

If this service isn't available in your area, speak to your GP to find out if you can refer yourself to a local MSK service.

Lying leg extension (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lms38ki9JI0)

This exercise should be done while lying down.

To stretch the back of your thigh:

  1. Lie on your back and lift the leg that's sore towards your chest.
  2. Place your hands behind the knee
  3. Gently pull your leg towards your chest - you should feel a stretch in the back of your sore thigh
  4. Hold for 2 seconds then return you leg to the floor

One stretch is one repetition.

Seated thigh stretch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZitCPzYuhg)

This exercise should be done while sitting down.

To stretch the back of your thigh:

  1. Sit on a chair and place the sore leg in front of the other
  2. Slowly lean forward keeping your back straight - you should feel a stretch in the back of your sore thigh
  3. Hold for 2 seconds then return to your starting position

One lean forward and back is one repetition.

Standing lower leg raise (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPm8hpjoc10)

This exercise should be done while standing up.

To stretch the front of your thigh:

  1. Place your hands on a chair or table for support
  2. Move your sore leg slightly back from the other leg
  3. Bend your knee and lift your back foot off the floor - you should feel a stretch in the front of your sore thigh
  4. Hold for 2 seconds then return to your starting position

One lift of your foot is one repetition.