This paper reviews the concepts associated with isokinetic open chain assessment and exercise of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups. Following a review of the isokinetic concept of exercise, the paper addresses principles of assessment and exercise of the knee, including the importance of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular screening, warm-up, body position, stabilization, and joint alignment. Gravity correction, test and exercise velocity, and duration of exercise are also addressed. Interpretation of an isokinetic evaluation of the knee is also addressed within the context of force-velocity relationships, peak torque relative to body weight, and bilateral and reciprocal muscle group relationships. Joint range of motion and test velocity are also discussed with respect to patellofemoral and tibiofemoral joint forces. Finally, recommended protocols for isokinetic assessment and exercise of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups are presented.
David H. Perrin is with the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.