Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises

Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises

Article by John Miller

What Are Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises?

Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises (CKCE) are exercises performed where the foot (for leg movement) or hand (for arm movement) doesn’t move during the exercise. The foot/hand remains in constant contact with a surface, usually the ground, footplate of a machine or machine handle. These exercises are typically weight-bearing exercises, where an exerciser uses their own body weight and/or external weight.

They are usually multi-joint movements. The opposite of CKCE is open kinetic chain exercises.

Examples of Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises include:

  • Back Squats, Front Squats, Leg Press, Lunges

  • Push-ups, Handstand Push-ups and Pull-ups.

Why are Closed Chain Exercises Preferred to Open Chain Exercises?


1 – Make compressive forces, while open-chain ones make shearing forces,
2 – Are nearer to activities of daily living,
3 – Use multiple joints during activity, while open-chain ones use a single joint,
4 – Work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously rather than concentrating on just one, as many open-chain exercises do.

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