Knee Extension Resistance Test

Clinically Relevant Anatomy

Quadriceps Muscles



The extension resistance test is used to perform a maximal provocation on the muscle-tendon mechanism of the extensor muscles.

The extension resistance test is positive when the affected knee shows less power to hold the pressure. If positive we can say the extensor mechanism of the knee is disturbed.[2]



The patient is instructed to perform an extension of the knee joint, while the therapist exercises pressure in the opposite direction (flexion). The therapist evenly builds up his pressure, the patient is to allow no movement in the joint.
Resistance tests should be performed on both knees and compared to one another. [2]

NB: In this video, resisted testing of knee starts at 4m30s.

Key Research

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Clinical Bottom Line

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  1. ladyrain9. Knee Muscles. Available from: [last accessed 21/09/14]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hagen, K., ‘Anterieure Kniepijn’, Afstudeeropdracht fysiotherapie HvU, 2005, p. 1-8. (Level of Evidence 2A)
  3. drjabbour. Knee Physical Examination - Flexion and Extension - Dr. Tony Jabbour. Available from: [last accessed 21/09/14]