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Lower extremity training

Proprioceptive balance and agility exercises

One foot balance

Holding on to a stable object (kitchen counter, table), practice balancing on your affected leg with:

– eyes open;
– eyes closed;
– standing on a book or pillow;
– gradually letting go of the support.

Time yourself; try to increase the length of time you are able to balance.

Balance board

Holding on to a stable object (kitchen counter, table):
– Place feet on the edges of the board:

1. Tilt board front to back, repeat 1–3 minutes.
2. Tilt board side-to-side, repeat 1–3 minutes.
3. Try to balance, keeping edges of board off the floor.
4. Gradually try to reduce hold on stable object.

– Place one foot in middle of board. Repeat steps 1–3.
– Add ball toss (or sport-specific activity) while balancing on the board.
– Try with eyes closed.

Directional walking and running (with or without sports cord)

Begin at walking pace; progress to quarter speed, half speed, and then full speed (run):

– forwards;
– backwards;
– side-step (side shuffle)—lead with left foot, then lead with the right;
– crossover step (carioca).

Jumping, hopping

Begin with both feet together. Place a line of tape on the floor to jump over; start with small jumps, then gradually increase speed and distance:

– jump front to back;
– jump side to side.

Power and speed drills

High knees

Run in place bringing your knees as high as you can. Concentrate on knee height, not speed. Perform one set of 15 seconds, one set of 20 seconds, one set of 15 seconds. Repeat with both eyes closed.

Quick skip

Skip as fast as you can, hardly lifting your feet off the ground. Use arms in a fast motion. Perform two sets of 55 m (50 yards). Repeat with eyes closed.

Bounding, power skip

Bring the right knee up with the left leg straight. Forcefully switch legs. Head and back should be straight. Concentrate on explosiveness and distance, use arms in fast motion. Perform two sets of 55 m (50 yards).

Single leg bounding

Bring your right leg from a hip and knee flexed position to a forceful hip and knee extension without touching the ground, landing on your left foot; forward progression should be from left leg hopping and force of right leg motion. Perform two sets of 55 m (50 yards).


Forcefully bring one leg into hip and knee flexion causing your body to leap upwards. Concentration should be on vertical height rather than on speed or horizontal progression. Perform two sets of 55 m (50 yards).


Bring your knee up high then extend the leg forwards in a lunge position. The opposite knee should bend until it is not quite touching the ground. Hold for 5 seconds then repeat. Do this drill slowly. Perform two sets of 55 m (50 yards).

Double leg speed jump, tuck jumps

Jump as high as possible, bending your knees as you land. Bring the knees high and forwards. Land, then jump again. Use your arms to help with lift. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10–15 repeats; resting 1 minute between sets.

Single leg speed hop

In the same position as for the double leg jumps, hop on one leg only, as high as possible. Do two sets of 10 repeats, resting 2 minutes between sets.

Squat jump

With your feet shoulder-width apart, interlock your fingers and put your hands behind your head. Drop into a half-squat position, then immediately explode upwards as high as possible. Do three sets of 20 repeats,resting 2 minutes between sets.

Quick feet

Place a line of tape on the floor and stand facing the line. As quickly as you can, step back and forth over the line, alternating feet. Perform timed intervals of 10, 20, 30 and 60 seconds. Repeat standing sideways to the line, and progress to jumping or hopping over the line.

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