Quads are one of your most essential muscles for almost everything you do. whether you are getting up from the couch, Barbell Squatting twice your body weight or doing a series of 50+ body squats your quads are the main muscle you are engaging. Managing soreness is key to getting back to your next work out and also to make everyday activities a little less uncomfortable.
The benefits of stretching are indisputable. Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance and rehabilitating after sprains or injuries. Not only does stretching increase your flexibility and range of motion, but it also improves circulation, reduces your risk of injury and stiffness, and boosts your ability to perform during various exercises.
Since muscle tension in the quadriceps can lead to back and knee pain, overall tightness, and reduced mobility, a few minutes of stretching can save you from a weekend of agony on the couch.
3 Essential Quad Stretches To Reduce Soreness
Although there are plenty of forms of static stretching that you can use after a quad exercise to improve the rate at which your muscles repair themselves, the following are some of our favorite options.
1. The Lying Quad Stretch
One of the simplest to conduct. The best quad stretches are those that address not just the quadriceps, but all aspects of your leg, from the hip to the thigh, to the foot. The lying quad stretch is great for people who suffer from knee pain, as well as those who prefer reclining to standing up.
- Lie in a face-down position, propping your head on your left hand. Alternatively, you can lie on your side to perform this stretch.
- After a couple of seconds, pull your right foot toward your butt and bend your left knee to stabilize yourself.
- Hold onto your ankle and maintain the position for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
- Switch sides, pulling your left foot toward your back and bending your right knee.
2. The Standing Quad Stretch
This simple stretch exercise is great for fixing your muscles, anytime, anywhere.
- Stand on your left leg, one knee touching the other. You can hold a chair or the wall to keep you steady if needed.
- Grab your right foot, using your right hand, and pull it towards your butt. Be sure to push your chest up and hips forward. Try not to worry about pushing your foot too close to your backside; your focus should be on feeling the stretch in your quad muscle and pushing your hips forward to get a good hip flexor stretch.
- Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat, switching from your left leg to your right.
3. The Lunging Quad Stretch
A slightly different form of quad stretch, this position will help to loosen the muscles just above the knee joint, increasing mobility and preventing knee pain.
- Start the stretch in a high lunge position, with your left foot forward.
- Carefully drop your right knee to the floor and take a moment to find your balance.
- Once you’re ready, reach back with your right arm, and grab your ankle, or toes, depending on what’s easiest.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds, keeping your body steady. Push a little further to get a hip flexor stretch as well.
- Gradually come back into the starting position and switch from your left foot to your right.
Stretching your Quadriceps
After a long set of high rep body squats or a little stiffness first thin gin the morning doing some of these feel simply amazing. You can do 1, 2 or all 3 of these during your daily stretching sessions to ensure that you recover from workouts faster, and maintain your mobility.
So what is the Quadricep?
The primary function of the quad is to help with knee motion. You have four separate muscles that make up the quadriceps: your rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and the vastus lateralis. You use your quads whenever you straighten and bend your knee joint. Your quads are involved in almost every movement of your leg, working alongside other muscles like the hamstrings, and the glutes to promote efficient running, jumping, and balance. Some common quad exercises include squats, the leg press and lunges; basically, quadricep exercises are anything that gets the slow-twitch muscle fibers or fast-twitch fibers in your leg muscles moving.
Our quadricep muscles can easily become inflamed, painful, and tight with frequent use. You may even experience quadriceps tendinopathy, which is inflammation of the tendons connecting your quadricep muscles to your knee joint. Quadriceps tendinopathy can cause knee pain during exercises or daily living activities that incorporate knee extension and knee flexion, such as bending over and picking something up.
Overcompensation from a quadricep issue can cause knee pain, and even lead to a condition called Chondromalacia patellae, or "runner's knee." As all of your quadricep muscles, especially the rectus femoris, play a key role in knee flexion and knee extension, it's essential to make time for quadricep stretches. And don't even get us started on the importance of a good hamstring stretch. Stretching your hamstrings is a whole other conversation.
By ensuring you warm up before performing quadricep exercises, and incorporate quadriceps stretches and foam roller work after a workout, you reduce your risk of injury and encourage recovery.