Closed chain exercises are those rehabilitation exercises where the moving limb is continually in contact with the surface of the exercise equipment, eg cycling.

Page updated November 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

mini squats

Closed chain exercise

At no point in this mini squat is the limb not in contact with a surface.


Closed versus open chain

In contrast, walking - where the foot is free of any surface for some time - is an open chain exercise. Closed chain exercises are preferred in the early phase of rehabilitation.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...

Relevant material -


A-Z of knee exercises -

Dr Sheila Strover2018 - A-Z of Rehabilitation Exercises - by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)


eBook - Cornerstones of Early Knee Rehabilitation

Easy to read principles with illustrated exercises.