Straight leg raise (Isometric hold)

Straight leg raise (Isometric hold)

What you should feel?? When performed correctly, you will feel the muscles in your outer ankle burning. You may also feel discomfort at the ankle however you need to be able to recognise the difference between muscle and joint pain. If your muscles are burning, this is a good thing. Depending on how strong your foot is you may also fatigue in the small muscles and joints of the foot.


  • Laying on your back on a firm surface with the opposite leg bent for support
  • Place your hands next to you on the floor and squeeze your quadriceps to keep your knee straight
  • Slowly lift your leg straight up off the floor to a height you can handle. The lower the harder it is
  • Hold your leg straight at that height for the agreed amount of time and sets

Main muscles targeted:

  • Quads
  • Hip flexors

Main benefits:

A straight leg raise is usually used for rehab programs as a starting exercise for quads control. When squeezed properly the terminal knee extensor muscles will be recruited which can help control the patella in every day life. The isometric hold is usually used for tendon rehab, or as a precursor to isokinetic strength.