These seated leg exercises for stroke recovery can be practiced from any comfortable seated position. We’ll start with a simple warm up exercise and then move on to 5 simple leg exercises that will help you regain strength and mobility. Let’s begin.
1. Ankle Rolls
Sit comfortably in your seat and start to make big circles with your ankles to warm up your ankle joint. Try doing 20 ankle rolls and if it feels good, do two sets.
2. Hamstring Stretch
To stretch out your hamstrings, reach for your toes while staying seated in your chair. Make sure to bend at your hips and not at your low back.
If this exercises puts too much stress on your low back and creates any sort of pain, stop immediately. Otherwise, hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then come up slowly.
3. Inner Thigh Squeezes
To work your adductors, or inner thigh muscles, make two fists and place your fists side by side between your knees. Then, squeeze your knees and fists together with everything you’ve got and hold the squeeze for 8 seconds.
Try doing sets of 3 with some rest in between.
4. ‘L’ Taps
From a comfortable seated position, make sure that your feet are right underneath your knees and then we’ll start with your right leg first. Bring your right foot out to your 3 o’clock position and tap your foot.
Then, bring it back to center and move it up to your 12 o’clock position and tap, returning to center after.
To do this exercise properly, imagine that you’re making an “L” shape with your leg. Try doing 15 repetitions on each leg.
5. Seated Kicks
To work your quadriceps, lift your right leg up with control until it’s parallel to the floor. Think of it as a slow, controlled kick. Then return your foot back down until it’s just barely hovering off the floor.
Repeat 10 times on each leg – never letting your foot touch the ground throughout this exercise. You’ll really feel this in your quadriceps and iliopsoas, or hip flexors.
6. Wide Half Stands
This exercise can be demanding, so if you don’t have the strength for them yet, we recommend practicing in front of a table or desk that you can hold for support.
Now, with your legs out a little wider than normal, secure yourself in a strong stance. Your knees should be directly above your feet and they should all be facing the same direction.
Then, stand halfway up – but only halfway – and then sit back down. You will start to feel this in your quadriceps and, well, your entire lower body.
Try doing these half stands 10 times and you’ll really start to feel your muscles working.