Skip to main content

How to Do a Sit to Stand Lift Exercise

Learn how to do a sit to stand lift in this Howcast video about physical therapy exercises for the knees.


Sit to stand lifts are a great exercise in the clinic. It really masks the functional activity that we do all day long, sitting and standing from our chairs in the office as well as home, and in the presence of knee pain, it really is a great exercise to work on, because you're using muscles in a very functional manner. It mimics the exact thing we're doing out in the open. And so, I want to look at a couple of ways to do a sit to stand exercise and how to progress it and how to make it more challenging.

With sitting to stand exercising, one of the keys is to start the exercise at a level where the seat is pretty high up, so it's a little less challenging on the patient. And what the patient is usually asked to do is just basically, as if they're getting up from a chair, lean forward a few inches, and then use your feet and prop all the way up into standing. All right?

At this height of a seat, it's probably a little easier for her to do. Come on back down. All right. What you can work on is just simply either sitting in a lower seat, or obviously adding some hand weights can make it a little bit harder.

When we see patients that are having knee pain, one of the great ways to make the exercise harder is simply making them use the knee that's hurting them a little bit more during the exercise. If you take a ball and put it underneath the foot of the unaffected side, it's going to make the patient use their injured side a little bit more when they're doing the exercise.

Okay. Why don't you lean forward? Come all the way up into standing, and then again back down. This makes the patient use the injured side a little bit more. It trains them to use it properly. And then eventually, after a week or two of exercising, they'll notice when they're at their office and getting up from a chair, it's a little bit easier and a little less painful.

I recommend about two sets of ten on the first go, and then as you're getting stronger, maybe go up to three sets of ten. And again, lowering the seat, or lowering the chair you're using the exercise for is another way to make it harder.

Popular Categories