Q:

What are closed kinetic chain exercises?

A:

Quick Answer

Kinetic chain exercises are physical movements where a chain of joints work together. Closed kinetic chain exercises are physical activities where the hand or foot is fixed and cannot move. In closed kinetic chain exercises, movement at one joint produces predictable movements at other joints.

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Full Answer

A push up is an example of a closed kinetic chain exercise for the arms. Squats, leg presses and lunges are examples of closed kinetic chain exercises for the legs. Closed kinetic chain exercises are typically weight bearing movements. This increases the joint compressive force, which enhances joint stability.

An open kinetic chain exercise allows the hand or foot freedom of movement. A bench press is an example of an open kinetic chain exercise for the arms, chest and back. Knee extensions and straight leg raises are open kinetic chain exercises for the lower body.

While open kinetic chain exercises for the legs do strengthen the quadriceps muscles, studies indicate that closed kinetic chain exercises allow for less side-to-side movement of the knee. This makes them safer and more functional for clients undergoing rehabilitation.

Kinetic chain exercises are best done under the care of a physical therapist, usually three times per week. Once a therapist establishes a routine, a person can typically continue alone at home or in a gym setting.

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