The Proper Technique of the Quadricep Stretch: How to Work Up To It and Beyond It
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The Proper Technique of the Quadricep Stretch: How to Work Up To It and Beyond It

There are a few exercises you can do to help relieve that tension in your shoulders and you will find your whole day will go smoother after doing these few simple exercises. These should not take you more than 5 or 10 minutes and you will feel so much better after you have done them.

A lot of people are afraid of the Quad Stretch but there is really no reason to be.  There is a large learning curve when it comes to this exercises and it is so beneficial.  I am going to teach you how this exercise can not only be a good quad stretcher, but a hip, back, and hamstring stretcher as well.  Once you master this stretch and are doing it in the most advance way possible you will feel like a prima ballerina.  First things first though, let's teach you how to do it properly, safely, and as easily as possibe. 

Because of the stress exercise and sports put on the legs and the potential for injury it is never a good idea to start a workout or do any kind of sport with out first warming up and stretching out your legs.  I am a firm believer doing rythmic moving before stretching out your legs.  The Quad stretcher is a great exercise to do before any workout or athletic attempt.  But you should really do rythmic movement before attempting it. You should should not jump or run at this point as your muscles are still cold.  Simply follow the instructions for rythmic movement below for about 5 minutes before beginning any stretch. 

Rythmic Movement

Always take a couple of deep breaths before starting a wor out.  Genty raise your arms as you breath in and release them down as you release your breath.  This should be the last time your hands go above your heart until after you are warmed up.  Rythmic movement means to move your body in a fashion that will start to get your heart rate up just a tiny bit and will start getting your blood flowing in your joints and muscles getting them a little warm before stretching them, stretching cold muscles is never a good thing.  I recommend marching in place, stepping from side to side or walking a few steps forward and then a few steps back, combining all of these are great when walking backward and forward use slightly more effort then you would with regular walking.  Get your arms involved by gently swinging them or swinging alternating with a clap every other time.  Until you are sufficienly warmed up arms shoud stay under or at the level of the heart.  After you are warmed up you can start lifting your hands higher. 

Now your body is a bit warmed up and ready for a good stretch.  You can repeat all of these stretches after your workout as well and I highly recommend it. 

Quad Stretcher

Yes this is that dreaded exercise your gym teacher probably made you do and you probably nearly fell on your face doing it.  This is the one where you bend your leg backwards and grab your foot with your hand.  Don't be afraid though, we are going to do this with a chair and you don't have to go any further then what is comfortable to you, and nobody is watching. 

This exercise is not only excellent for stretchng the quadrisep muscle which is that large muscle on front top of your leg from you knee to your hip region, it also helps to strengthen and limber up your back as well.  By stretching further you can get an excellent hip stretch as well. 

Stand in front of the chair.  You should be back far enogh from the chair so that you can hold on with your arm extended.  Your feet should be facing the chair and hip width apart. 

While holding on with one hand lift your right foot up while bending your knee bringing your foot backwards.  If you can grab your foot with your right hand and hold the position for 12 seconds or for a count of 4 deep breaths slowly inhaling and exhaling. Your bent knee should be lined up with your straight knee. 

For the not so flexible:  If you are not quite flexible enough to grab your foot with your hand don't worry about it there are a few ways you can do this. You can use your hand and hold our shin however that is more difficult then these other two methods. 

If you are wearing long yoga or sweat pants simply grab the pants as close to the foot in the back as you can then hold the stretch.  If you are not wearing long pants or don't want to risk stretching your pants take a towel and place your shin in the center of it and pull up on the towel in the same direction you would use if you were grabbing your foot.  Hold for the recommended amoun to fime. 

Repeat the exercise on the other side and then do it once again on both sides.  The second time try and stretch just a little more if you can. 

For the more flexible:  If you are more flexible then you can get the extra benefit of a hip stretch in with this stretch as well and it feels really good.  Simply pull the foot back even further as you start to pull your bent knee back slightly firther then your straight knee.  Bend your arm slightly and allow the front of your body to tilt forward slightly, Remember this only for those people who are already very flexible.  This is something to work up to.  Another added benefit of this is that your hamstring muscle of the staight leg will now get a really nice stretch.  Don't ever do this if you have not warmed up as I described above. 

For Those With Good Balance or Wanting to Improve their balance:  If you have good balance you can do this without the chair.  To help your self out a bit leave your left hand out in front of you when lifting your right leg.  If you are trying to achieve better balance but are not quite there yet keep the chair in place and instead of holding on to it just lay your hand on it, grab hold if need be.  Then as you do this more regularly you can start to bring your hand off of the chair a little at a time until you are ready to go without using it at all.

Remember it can only improve your flexibility further to repeat the stretch after your workout while your legs are still really warm. 

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Comments (1)

Thank you for your wisdom in the fitness area.