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Quad Stretching

by Taylor Tollison

The quadriceps are the group of muscles located on the front of the upper leg.  They are also known as the thigh muscle.

The word quad stands for the number 4. Therefore we know that quadriceps muscles are broken up into 4 separate portions. They are:

  • Rectus Femoris
  • Vastus Lateralis
  • Vastus Medialis
  • Vastus Intermedius

All four of these attach to the patella. quad muscleThe quad muscles are used in many different everyday uses like:

  • standing up out of bed
  • walking
  • running
  •  jumping
  • skipping
  • hopping
  • leg extensions
  • squats and more

To stretch the quad you need to lengthen the muscle beyond its normal length.  As flexibility increases you must increase the length of the stretch for this muscle.

Be sure to avoid some common mistakes when stretching the quads. First, Do not arch the back to stretch the quad. Use a straight back while still pulling foot up and behind the body.

Static Quad Stretching

quad stretchGrab the ankle behind the body while not arching the lower back. Pull the ankle up so that you are lengthening the muscle.  If you prefer do the same stretch but laying on you side.

Another stretching mistake people make when stretching the quad muscle is the hurdler stretch.  Do not do it. The hurdler stretch typically extends one foot out in front of the body and tucks the foot/ankle of the leg being stretched behind and next to the hips.  It looks like a hurdler running over a hurdle.

Hold this static stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat for 1-3 repetitions.