Leg Exercises for Stroke Recovery with Pictures

Leg Exercises for Stroke Recovery with Pictures

If you’re a visual learner, then you’ll love these leg exercises for stroke recovery with pictures.

Each exercise features our favorite therapist Liliana, DPT.

Video: Leg Exercises for Stroke Patients

Before we get started, check out the video featuring Liliana guiding you through some easy leg exercises:

The rest of this article contains more leg exercises from Liliana organized from easiest to hardest.

And since challenge is essential for recovery, we included little modifications to make each exercise more difficult.

Here they are:

Leg Exercise #1: Hip Flexion with Hold

Use your hands to lift your affected leg up into your chest, and hold there for a second before slowly letting your leg back down. Repeat on the other leg.

Try your best to keep a straight back and tight core.

Repeat both sides 10 times each.

How to make it harder:

Don’t use your hands.

Leg Exercise #2: Knee Extension

From a seated position, extend your left leg out in front of you parallel to the floor. Avoid locking your knee. Then, slowly bring your foot back down to the floor.

This will feel like a kicking motion.

Then repeat with your right leg, alternating back and forth between your right and left legs for a total of 20 repetitions (10 on each leg).

How to make it harder:

Pause for a second at the top of each extension.

Leg Exercise #3: Hip External/Internal Rotation

You may need an optional towel for this exercise.


For this exercise, you can place a towel underneath your affected foot to help make it easier.

From a seated position, use your hands to assist your affected leg and slide your foot towards your midline. Then, push your leg outwards, using your hands for assistance if necessary.

Repeat 10 times.

How to make it harder:

Ditch the towel and don’t use your hands.

Leg Exercise #4: Seated Marching

From a seated position, lift your affected leg up into your chest, and then place it back down onto the floor. Keep your back straight and maintain a controlled movement. Then repeat on the other leg, alternating back and forth for a total of 10 repetitions.

How to make it harder:

Pause at the top for a second or two. And, if you have the control to do this safely, slightly push down on your quads to add a bit of resistance.

Leg Exercise #5: Hip Adductions

For this exercise, sit in a chair and lift your affected leg slightly off the floor. Your leg should remain bent at 90 degrees, but your foot should hover over the floor.

Then, kick your leg outward like you’re kicking a ball to the side. Then, kick your leg inward toward your midline. Repeat 10 times.

How to make it harder:

Pause after each kick.

Improve Leg Movement Even Faster

When it comes to stroke rehab, getting your reps in matters a lot. Generally, the more repetitions you achieve, the faster you will see results.

Repetition is rocket fuel for recovery because it activates neuroplasticity, the mechanism that rewires your brain after stroke. The more you practice, the stronger the new connections in your brain become.

Our latest rehab tool, FitMi, was designed to help you achieve a high number of repetitions (we’re talking at least 400 reps per session) of therapeutic full-body movements – including leg exercises.

This intense repetition has helped many of our patients quickly improve their balance and gait (manner of walking) within one month of use.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then learn more about FitMi here.