Knee Isometric / Knee Setting Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Dr. Jo! Today I’m going
to show you some knee strengthening exercises, but they are going to be isometric exercises.
We call them setting exercises sometimes, and that basically, you’re not making any
movement yet. So if you’ve tried my other knee strengthening exercises and you can’t
quite do the movements or they are painful, these are for you. So let’s get started. So
we’re gonna start off with what we call quad sets. Which is basically strengthening your
quad, if you wanna give yourself a target, roll up a towel and put it underneath your
knee. You don’t have to, but I think it makes it a lot easier to feel what you are doing.
Basically what you want to do, you want to take your knee and squish it down into the
roll. So you are trying to push your knee down as hard as you can. And if you can see,
it’s going to activate that muscle. Now if you’ve just had a surgery or a significant
injury, you might not see much. You might be pushing and you don’t see anything. But
your goal is to actually get a contraction there. Hold it for about 3 seconds, relax,
and do that about 10 times. Again, that’s called quad sets. After you do that, then
we are going to move onto a hamstring set which are the muscles underneath. Bend up
your knee, and put your heel down, and push your heel down into the ground. Same thing,
hold it for about 3 seconds, and then relax. That’s firing those hamstrings underneath.
Hold and relax. Try 10 of those, and work your way up. Then we are going to work the
outer part of our legs. Take a belt, something tight, not like a resistive band, but something
that’s not going to give. Tighten it up, and push out, like you are opening up like a clamshell.
Push out for about 3 seconds, and relax. Now it’s just strengthening the muscle in that
specific position, so if you want to do those a couple of times in one position, hold it
and relax, and then change the width of your legs, then that will help the muscle in all
those different directions. And then the last one is going to be for the inner thigh muscles.
You can grab a ball, go Duke! Any kind of ball. If you don’t have a ball, you can fold
up a pillow, it’s really just to give you a target, and then you’re gonna squeeze in.
Same thing, hold it for about 3 seconds, and then relax. So those were your knee strengthening
isometric exercises. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you
want to check out any other videos, go to Don’t forget to follow me
on Facebook and Twitter, and remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!

80 thoughts on “Knee Isometric / Knee Setting Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. You're not being silly at all. That is a very scary situation! Hopefully you can get it calmed down without any surgery…which is possible depending on how big the protrusion is. Hopefully you will get some relief soon!

  2. Thank you! There are people out there (near you too), that will be willing to take the time to help…sometimes you just have to look a little for them! Molly and Bailey say thank you for the hugs!!

  3. Can I do these (except for the ball) when I have tendonitis pes bursitis on my right knee? Everything else seem doable except pressing the ball/pillow in between the knees.

  4. @AskDoctorJo

    Hello there πŸ™‚ I have a question, the back-inside part of my knee is hurting when I pick it up (bend) it while standing. I play a lot of soccer so I worry about my knees.

  5. @AskDoctorJo

    Is there another way I could talk to you? Email? I don't wanna waste your time making you come back to reply on your videos.

  6. They are actually Joe Boxer socks I think (Walmart brand). They have turtles on them, and their shells are soccer balls πŸ™‚

  7. hello, I got a pain in my knee and that hurts a lot can you suggest me something cause doctor said u will get repaired with in one or two week but i cant tolerate the painΒ 

  8. hi on Thursday i was playing basket ball and i fell and kind of twisted my knee i think. when i twisted it it really hurt then the pain went but every time i am going to stand up or going to sit down it hurts what shall i do.

  9. Hi i feel a movement of my knee especially on the outside of my knee. It rarely hzppen but when i take a sudden turning to the right, the knee is slightly moving out. It hurt a bit for a moment then the psin gone after a few second. I've already consult a doctor and he said that my ligament are not holding my knee strongly that why i feel the movement. He said to rest up. It been 3 month now and it still happening but it not often like the first month. So what do you recommanded to me to do. Im a sport man. Thx u

  10. Yup i have a knee injury but it was long time ago… 2005 but since then i never get injured. But now it cuz me lot of trouble

  11. I have to make a rehab plan on the knee for Β my sports medicine class, and my teacher wants us to do it without her help! I had no idea where to start for isometrics (kept getting them mixed up with isotonic) but this video is a grade saver! Thank you!

  12. I've had a knee arthroscopy 2,5 weeks ago..still can't bend my leg more than 20Β° so I've been doing isometric exercises. Good video, thank you very much πŸ™‚

  13. i recently had a surgery for acl reconstruction, unfortunately when i did mri after surgery it showed acl partial tear of the legament, help me in restoring this torn legament with quad strengthening exercise

  14. Just had my acl reconstructed on July 3 2015. Its been 4 days and the swelling and stiffness is bad. My surgeon said I dont need any rehab, to just do exercises like the ones you are showing. Knee is still swollen and stiff and my work wants me back on July 9 and that is a 60 mile drive both ways, then sitting for 9 hours, including lunch. Bothers me is that I am having to use PTO because job has no medical leave…a health insurance company, and no actual rehab, other than ankle pumps, knee push downs, straight leg raises, short arch quads and standing knee flexion. Shouldn't I have range of motion excercises under supervision of a licensed physical therapist?

  15. Hey pretty doctor 😊😳

    i need a massive favor our doctor ( teacher) asked us today a question and i must answer by tomorrow it says…in isotonic contraction which is concentric and eccentric when does the muscle produce same tension? (Same force) I've read in Internet that isotonic contraction keep force constant while velocity changes opposite to isokinetic! But the question is when? I need simple clear answer plz love u all thnx for the video u got like!!

  16. These really help my knees especially during the rainy season where the pain is more excruciating.

  17. Dear Doctor, thank you for these exercises. I have a radial meniscus tear in one of my knees and it is not very painful, it pains a lot and there is a swelling sometimes when I do lunges or squatting or overstretch my muscles. I have started doing these isometric quad and hamstring strengtheening exercises from your video. Would you recommend me doing cycling and machine exercises as well like leg extension, curls, leg push and adductor and abductor machine exercises as well with a little weight?

  18. thanks for your video , my doctor said just search for "quadriceps setting exercise" for home excercise , i got low grade ACL that my knee are still strong to push or sprint even jumping rope , but when training basketball etc, my ACL relapse painfull

  19. Have you ever encountered a patient that claimed the quad sets exacerbated their knee pain? (Although I'll fully admit it's sort of hard to tell, since my knees pretty much always hurt now.)

    I swear it seems to make things worse for me, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm just crazy since it's the first exercise every physical therapist seems to recommend. I admit it doesn't look like it should hurt sore knees…

    Are there any alternatives to quad sets you'd recommend for someone crazy like me?

  20. Hi jo, I encounter with complete ACL tear. I am 26. Do I need to go for surgery. Or can rehab it using knee exercises ?

  21. hello doctor, i met with an accident and my petella was was operated using k-wire and fixator… has been 6 months thereafter but still now I am not able to get full ROM. I achieved 90degree bending…but the problem is that the bending is lost after exercises….pls help me

  22. I have been in a wheelchair for over 9yers due to MS. I can stand but I stoop forward a considerable degree. I have strength but I need to increase this so that I can try walking again. Any help that you can give me would be fantastic. I am 46 years old and my MS is progressive. The main things I cannot do is walk and step up things. Any ideas please? My name is Jason Tagger and my email is [email protected]


  23. I've had pain due to patellar tendonitis for months and these videos are just what I need to start rehab properly, thank you so much πŸ™‚ what are your thoughts on doing eccentric squats on a slant board for initial rehab, there's so many papers saying they're the best exercise to start with but there's other sites saying to steer clear of squats altogether. So far your videos have really been helping so I'd really appreciate your advice, thank you

  24. recently my knee hit with a rod 1month ago then its pain in x ray my knee joint very small displaced. Iwalk easily but not able run and any for hard work.What exercise I do please help me

  25. Hi my doctor says I need to strengthen my muscle above knee have you got any easy and quick to make muscle grow quickly ???? Thanks

  26. I have a problem with both of my knees they make a crunching sound when I bend them for example going up and down the stairs my Dr said to do knee strengthening exercises so will this routine in this video help me with this also how many times a day would you recommend some did this routine with my problem?

  27. i got my quadriceps femoris contracted and my dr suggested me the first towel pressing excercise , it feels like i'm strenghtening that muscle by doing this. hope it recovers soon.

  28. Thanku doctor jo.
    I have a leg difference in my leg looks like quads have become weak. So what will be the best exercise to gain back that difference..

  29. Is this good for patellafemoral maltracking? My PT produced more pain and more maltracking. Some of the exercises I did are in your video though.

  30. I got twist on my right knee joint it's paining too much and cracking sound is coming out
    What should I do to get it recovered???

  31. This lady is the real deal. After my knee op (tto and mpfl), my physio keep making me do the quad sets. I hated it because it is not something I like to do and it made my muscle feel really weak and the effort it makes my leg shake instead of being still. However, this is the kind of exercise you realise it feels different after a while. It is after weeks of quads strengthening exercises, of deliberating working the quads with stretches that when you do it, you know you can feel a little more strength when you try to push your knee into the towel.

  32. Everytime I sit crossed legged for 5 minutes ,once I try to stand up something happens. Two weeks ago my lower back went out and I walked hunched over for 4 hours. Today when I stood up my left knee and leg would not support me and I fell to the ground, and the pain was level 10. I can crawl , and I can't straighten out my leg to walk. Suggestions please ?

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