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


Closed versus open chain

In contrast, walking - where the foot is free of any surface for some time - is an open chain exercise.



Comparison of the Clinical Effects of Open and Closed Chain Exercises after Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction. Zhang F, Wang J and Wang F. J Phys Ther Sci. 2014 Oct; 26(10): 1557–1560.

The Effect of Open and Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises on Dynamic Balance Ability of Normal Healthy Adults. Kwon YJ, Park SJ, Jefferson J and Kim K. J Phys Ther Sci. 2013 Jun; 25(6): 671–674.

See also -


eBook - Cornerstones of Early Knee Rehabilitation

Easy to read principles with illustrated exercises.