No Terminal Knee - heels are on the ground
No Terminal Knee – heels are on the ground

Terminal Knee Extension – A Haiku
Written by Michele Vieux

I didn’t have it
And neither do lots of ya’ll
Your knees don’t go straight

I see when you move
Terminal knee extension
Is never achieved

Terminal sounds bad
But it’s not when in the knee
Actually it’s good

Your quads are loaded
Causing that patella pain
If you don’t have it

Constantly bent legs
Quads always under tension
Knees always twisted

Oh popliteus
Small muscle behind the knee
No wonder you hurt

Working overtime
To stabilize the jacked knee
Without extension

So what can be done
to remedy this problem

Straighten your dang leg
You might have to force it there
But it’s possible

Grab a post and band
If you have a super friend
That’s even better

And then get to work
On some knee mobility
To open the joint

Go and go don’t stop
Until hyperextension
That’s right, go past straight

Your heel should raise up
Off the floor when you lock out
So get on this shiz

End all the tension
Deload the quad and untwist
Voila, no more pain

An example of Terminal Knee - the heels are off the ground.
An example of Terminal Knee – the heels are off the ground.


*Author’s note/translation: I’ve been watching you move again and I noticed that many of you don’t have terminal knee extension, which means your knee doesn’t straighten all the way and is (or will be) causing you pain. It might look like it does extend because it is pretty straight, but actually, it should hyperextend slightly if you have full range of motion (ROM).

You can test your ROM by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Squeeze your quads as hard as you can and press the backs of your knees into the floor. If your heels don’t raise up off the floor by at least a half inch, you don’t have terminal extension and are setting yourself up for dysfunction, injury, and pain.

Our friend K-Star has published three great articles about terminal knee extension and how to get it. I encourage you to test YOUR knee ROM and check out those articles by starting here!