Physiotherapy - Strengthening Hamstrings & Quads

Physiotherapy (PT) is the therapy we use in order to help Hazel with limitations she may face due to low muscle tone. To read other posts about Hazel's therapies click here.


The latest in PT around here is that Hazel very rarely bends her legs to step over things. She side steps everything. She defaults to a bear crawl when she thinks her legs aren't strong enough to lift over an uneven surface. So, she has basically learned to overcompensate for her low muscle tone and still get where she needs to be. Sounds about right. Something Hazel would do. NOTHING is going to slow this girl down.

As a result, we are trying to help her gain strength in her hamstrings and quads by doing 3 activities in PT.


1. Stairs

Going up and down the stairs is a great muscle strengthener. There is a lot of bending and supporting herself, balancing on one leg (holding the railing too, of course). We have her facing the stair rail and side stepping up and down. This ensures that she gets that bend in her knees and still feels safe and secure holding the railing. We happen to live in a ranch so stairs are not easy to find around here. We have 2 steps coming into our house that we use. Up. Down. Up. Down.

What do we do?

  • Use stairs at someone's house
  • Use stairs at the park on the equipment
  • Use stairs at our PT center

We do it where ever we can! Sometimes we have to be creative.


2. Tricycle

I have yet to decide which tricycle I am going to buy Hazel. The problem is that I can't find one that is suitable for her arms and legs. No matter which one I buy I will have to make modifications to it. For now we use the tricycle at our PT center.

Here are the 2 I am trying to decide between:




Radio Flyer...



Any and all suggestions are welcome. What have you done to modify your tricycles for your little ones?


3. Jump

Trampoline = jump.  I bought ours at a local store called Mastermind. Click here to view. We LOVE it. Hazel LOVES it. She has a blast on it and she started to immediately use the muscles in her legs to bounce. It took her until about the 3rd time on it to start to trust her legs enough to start to bend. This model is small enough to fit into any home. They also have a bigger one that we use at the PT center we visit.



Hope this gives you some ideas to bring to your next PT session.

As always ideas and suggestions are welcome here. Would love to hear from you!!!


Please check with your child's PT before trying any of these activities with your kiddos.