Thigh Strain Rehabilitation Program

Our step-by-step Thigh strain rehabilitation program is created by elite-level sports physiotherapist Paul Tanner. He bases it on what he does with his professional footballers but adapted to be used by anyone.


The program consists of 5 criteria-based phases. This means you start on phase 1 and must meet specific criteria before progressing to phase 2, and so on. It is mobile app-based and tells you exactly what to do each day and records your progress.

Download the App now to start!

Iphone app

Phase 1: Acute

This is the acute phase immediately after injury. The aim here is to protect the muscle, reduce pain and swelling and allow the muscle to begin to heal. Apply cold therapy, compression, and rest.

thigh strain rehabilitation strapping

Avoid stretching the quadriceps muscles at this stage. You can stretch the calf muscles, hamstrings, gluteals, and hips.

Gentle isometric muscle contractions can begin as long as they are pain-free, along with activation exercises for the hips.

Only move on to phase 2 when you have complete rest for 3 days, applied cold therapy and compression at least 3 times per day, can walk pain-free, have no pain to touch, and can manage a pain-free quadriceps muscle stretch.

Phase 2: Sub acute

During phase 2 we continue with cold therapy and compression, but also now begin to load the muscle more and begin to include more functional exercises.

Phase 3: Early strengthening

During phase three we focus more on increasing quadriceps muscle strength and endurance. Apply heat before exercises and cold/ice after. Continue stretching exercises and move on to more advanced strengthening exercises.

Phase 4: Advanced strengthening

The aim of phase 4 is to further increase quadriceps muscle strength and prepare the athlete for higher intensity training. Here you will begin to return to normal training activities.

Phase 5: Return to sport

This is the final phase where you do the most advanced quadriceps strengthening and movement control exercises. The aim here is to return you to full normal training and mitigate the risk of your injury returning.

Download the App now to start!

Iphone app

What’s included in the program?

Treatment & healing

This covers how and when to apply treatment such as cold therapy & compression, heat, massage, taping & bracing.


Dozens of different exercises with video demonstrations covering mobility & stretching, activation, strengthening, motion control/proprioception, and functional.

Expert guidance

Throughout the program, Paul Tanner explains the aims of each phase, which treatment methods and exercises you should do each day, and where you need to be before you can progress onto the next level.

Download the App now to start!

Iphone app

Types of exercises

The program includes the following exercises:

Stretching & mobility

These aim to maintain a normal range of movement in the ankle, knee, and hips. They begin early in stage one with simple active ankle movements and gradually progress to more dynamic hip mobility drills.

Activation exercises

These exercises maintain the hip abductor muscles (outside of the hip). It is important these muscles keep firing and stay in good condition ready for the demands later in the program.

Strengthening exercises

These exercises maintain and improving specific muscle strength around your knee joint. They begin with simple isometric exercises and become increasingly more demanding, with heavier loads and unpredicatable movements.

Movement control exercises

These are proprioception type exercises, aimed at improving your balance, control, and spatial awareness. Again, they start with simple balance exercises and progress to advanced balance board movements.

Functional exercises

Functional exercises bridge the gap between basic rehabilitation and sports specific type drills. They begin with walking drills and progress through skipping-type sprint drills and agility training.

Thigh Strain Rehab Program

Our step-by-step rehabilitation program takes you from initial injury to full fitness.

Start now!

Iphone app

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