Hesperian Health Guides

Range-of-Motion Exercises—Lower Limbs

In this chapter:

(Also see the exercise sheets in following sections.)

baby lying on belly while heel is being brought up and down
Bring heel back as far as possible, then straighten leg as much as possible.
HIP: straighten in an older child
on one side baby's leg is being lifted up on other side child's hip is kept in place while leg is being lifted up
Be sure hip stays flat against a firm surface as you bend leg up.
HIP: bend
Bab's knee being bent and straightened
Bend knee to chest. Straighten all the way.
HIP: spread
leg out and in
Baby's lying on side with leg being moved to the side
Spread hips open as far as you can by moving leg out to the side.
HIP: twist (rotation) — leg straight HIP ROTATION: leg bent
Baby's leg being rolled in and out
Twist the leg,
not the foot.
Baby lying on side with knee bent while upper leg is being swung
twist the upper leg,
not the foot.
Roll leg and foot to inside, then to outside. With knee bent,     swing leg out,     then in.
ANKLE AND FOOT: down and up. (Also see Excercise sheet 1)
IMPORTANT! To stretch a tight heel cord, pull heel down as you push foot up.
Baby's foot being bent up and down
Pull heel harder than you push on foot — or you may dislocate foot upward instead of stretching the ankle cord and muscles.
An adult holding leg while child lying down
Bend foot down. Pull heel down and bend foot up.
ANKLE TWISTING: in and out TOES: up and down
Baby's ankle being twisted in and out
Baby's toes being bent up and down with assistance
Twist in. Twist out. Bend toes up. Bend toes down.

This page was updated:04 Apr 2024