The terminal knee extension (TKE) is a fantastic exercise to work on achieving quad control during those crucial last few degrees while walking.
I believe this is a great exercise to follow up with after some form of mobilization, to achieve additional knee extension, to allow the body to actually use this newly acquired ROM.
Additionally, the band provides additional feedback to ‘feed the dysfunction’ of buckling the knee, into knee flexion, which often occurs for patients during the areas of terminal knee extension.
However, I believe this exercise is often not progressed appropriately in rehabilitation settings.
Here are my four favorite ways to progress the TKE exercise.
Load it appropriately (Use more resistance)
A black/grey theraband is not a lot of resistance for an exercise like this. Once a patient can perform 20-25 clean repetitions with a higher resistance theraband, I would recommend utilizing a medium resistance mobility-type band. The green monster band from Rogue fitness, for example, has approx. 65 pounds of resistance behind it. A black theraband is closer to 7 pounds.
If a person can stand on one leg for 30 seconds, and can perform 20 reps with a certain resistance, performing it in a single-leg stance may be a good progression.
A step-down exercise is a challenging exercise by itself. The addition of a band, to further reinforce end-range quad contractions, can be a great progression.
Integrating TKE into Functional Exercises
When I’m using the word ‘functional’ I simply mean multi-planar exercises that more closely mimic tasks of daily living. It’s a buzz word in the rehab community.
These can really add a significant challenge to exercises you’d normally perform in a strength program.
Combining a TKE with a Lunge
Combining a TKE with a Squat
What are some TKE progressions you’ve utilized?