Your quadriceps muscles are comprised of four muscles that are in the front of your thigh: the vastus medialis, intermedius, lateralis, and rectus femoris. The rectus femoris is the largest of the four muscles, while the others help you to move your leg at the knee joint and hip joint. Your quadriceps are important to your overall function because they allow you to effectively run, balance, and exercise. Without healthy quadriceps, walking alone would be a downright painful experience, so it is important to take good care of this muscle group.
What to expect from quadriceps stretch
Stretching out your quads is vital to keep your body functional because without proper stretches your muscles will not be able to fight cramping and aches as they may occur. If you have other health problems there is almost definitely a way to stretch that can accommodate your needs. There are standing quad stretches, kneeling quad stretches, sidelying quad stretches, and even advanced quadricep stretches where you put all of your weight on one leg as you work with the other. Ask your doctor to recommend a set, or look online for ideas.
How to prepare for quadriceps stretch
Make sure you stretch your muscles before you begin, and breathe deeply throughout exercising. If you are uncomfortable breathing, make sure your posture and form are correct. Don’t ever push your body to do more than it can, and avoid stretching your muscles when they are cold. While there are specific body stretches you can do, you could also buy a foam roller to help you roll out any sore spots. Beginning your routine with some light cardio, like walking on the treadmill, as it is a great warm-up. Your rectus femoris is most likely to incur injury if you fail to warm up before performing kicks, sprinting, or jogging. Any spasms or pain you may feel in that area is a warning that there is a tear or some other kind of damage.
Muscles you'll engage with the quadriceps stretch
Stretching your quads help to increase blood flow to those muscles as well as other areas of the body. If you have back pain, it could be because of muscular troubles with your quads that are affecting your back. Stretching will help alleviate some of the symptoms. Keeping your quads loose also helps your hip, knee, and spine and prevents tension at those joints. You will also find that quadriceps stretches reduce stress, and increase not just flexibility but circulation as well.
The best way to stretch your quadriceps all at once is to stand sideways, with your body perpendicular to the nearest wall. Prop yourself up with your right hand, then bend your leg backward as far as it will go, and grab your ankle with your left hand. Next, pull your leg up further with your hand for a deep stretch, but only go as far as you feel comfortable. There is no set point that you should bring it back to. Limber people will be able to pull their foot up until it touches their behind, while most of us will only be able to pull it a little further than it will go on its own already. The key is to finding what spot is comfortable for you, and then very gently surpassing it with each new time you stretch, gradually helping your quads become more and more flexible.
Tips for Success in Quadriceps Stretch
As we grow older it becomes even more important to exercise our bodies. There are stretches designed for seniors, who need to stretch their quads and other areas to keep their hips healthy and therefore less likely to be injured during a fall or trip. These workouts will help with leg strength and flexibility, and only require ten minutes of laying on one’s back a day.