Quads(front thigh) Muscles Pain and Stretching :
Quads are the group of muscles at the front of your thigh. Tightness and pain in your thighs (quads and other muscles) is commonly associated with any physical activity like running, swimming, cycling or any activity that gives thigh workout. If the tightness in muscles is not addressed timely, they can pull the kneecap out of position slightly, causing friction at the knee which can cause serious knee problems in future.
This post is in succession to my “Stretching and Flexibility“ posts; In this post I will be covering the postures and stretches for Quadriceps muscles. To start with, generally you should choose two or three of the following stretches that are most comfortable for you; that you can perform easily. With the time as your flexibility improves, you can progress in the stretches variations by increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of the stretches provided they are pain free.
Consult your doctor before trying these stretches or if you are new to these.
Basic rules while stretching – No bouncing while stretching, normal breathing, core engaged, and relaxed body. Hold every stretch for 20-40 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.
Standing quadriceps stretch
This is basic quads (front thigh) stretch. You can start with this stretch if you are very new to any stretches.
How to do this stretch: Stand on your right foot, holding the back of a chair or some support to balance. Now fold your left leg backwards from knee. Hold the ankle of left leg with your left hand; pulling it up towards your hips until you can feel a gentle stretch on the front of the thigh. and don’t worry about how close your foot is to your butt.
Make sure in final stretch position your knees are together and your chest upright. Keep your focus on getting a good stretch in your quads.
Lying on side quadriceps stretch
This is a great stretch if you have knee issues. You can substitute “Standing Quads Stretch” with this.
How to do this stretch : Lie down on your right side. Support your head up with your hand right hand. Or you take full support on your elbow (as shown in the pic).
Now pull your left foot toward your hips; holding your left ankle with your left hand. Bend your bottom knee if you’re having trouble staying steady.Hold the stretch for 20-40 seconds and slowly come to the starting position.
Repeat the same on left side.
Kneeling quadriceps stretch
This stretch is has slightly different effect from above explained stretches. This stretch especially loosens the muscles right above your knee, in addition to normal quads muscles.
How to do this stretch : Start off by kneeling down position(standing on your knee). Keep support (wall/bench) on your left side. Now hold the wall with your left hand for support. Bring your left leg front keeping right knee on the floor; press your hips front. Take a few moments to find balance, and once you’re stabilized lift your right foot up toward your hips; use your right hand to hold the ankle and pull it more towards your hips, until you can feel a gentle stretch on the front of the thigh. Don’t worry about how close your foot is to your butt. Keep your focus on getting a good stretch in your quads. Hold the pose for 20 -40 seconds and slowly come to the starting position.
Make sure in final stretch position your knees are together and your chest upright.
Repeat the same on other side.
Lying on back quadriceps stretch
This stretch is similar as Standing and Side Lying quads stretch; give more stretch than other two. Be cautious if you have knee problem, avoid this stretch.
How to do this stretch : Lie on your back, keeping your legs straight. Now fold your right leg from knee; bring up towards your right hip. Adjust your right foot to be in comfortable position. Use your right hand to adjust the ankle; you should feel gentle stretch in front thigh muscles(Quadriceps). Hold the stretch for 20-40 seconds. Slowly come to starting position.
Repeat the same on left leg.
Sitting quadriceps stretch
This stretch is advance level stretch. Try only if you are confident.
How to do this stretch : Start with Vajraasan Yoga pose (sit folded legs, keeping your hips on the your heels). Now slowly move your one foot(right or left foot)out, side wise. This movement bring your hip nearer to the floor or it will touch the floor if you have good flexibility. Do not push too hard to touch the floor.
Do the same at left side as well. Adjust the your sitting position which gives your gentle stretch on the front of the thigh. Sit in this pose for 20-40 seconds. Do not push too hard.
Enjoy stretching !!
NOTE: Along with good stretching, I suggest you to do proper ice compression on the sore/tight muscles. Consult your doctor if it is severe.
I will be posting other(inner and outer) thigh muscles stretches in my next post.
STAY TUNED !!
Do post your comments below.