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Leg and Knee Exercises: Lateral Step-Downs

Side view of woman standing with one foot on raised step and other foot lifted off floor.

This exercise is designed to strengthen your knee. Before starting, talk with your healthcare and read through all the instructions. While exercising, breathe normally and use smooth movements. If you feel any pain, stop the exercise. If pain persists, tell your healthcare provider.

  1. After a brief warm-up, such as brisk walking for a few minutes, stand with one foot on a  3-inch to  5-inch support (such as a block of wood) and the other foot flat on the floor.

  2. Shift your weight onto the foot on the block, straightening that knee and raising your other foot off the floor. Then slowly lower the foot until only the heel touches the floor.

  3. Return to starting position.

  4. Repeat ______ times on each side. Do ______ sets a day.

Important reminders

  • Don’t lock your knees.

  • Keep your weight on the foot that’s on the block—don’t push off from the floor.

Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Trina Bellendir PT
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2021
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.