The Quadriceps, latin for ‘four-headed’ muscle of the femor’, is a large muscle group at the front of the thigh, and is the primary muscle group for extending one’s leg.
The Quadriceps is crucial in our ability to walk, run, jump and squat, and in the flexing of the hip.
We have all heard the old adage ‘Lift with your legs, not your back’, is because your leg muscles, particularly your quadriceps, are much bigger and stronger than your back muscles, so lifting is easier and less strain is put on the smaller muscles of the back.
To begin the Stretching of the Quadriceps muscles start by standing erect, head up, slowly lift one leg up behind you, when you are able grasp the ankle and gently pull upwards attempting to touch your heel to your buttock.
*If you are new at Stretching the Quadriceps then use your opposite hand for balance by firmly holding on to a door jamb or piece of sturdy exercise equipment.
To add some additional stretch to the Rectus Femoris, slowly, pull back on the ankle as you are pulling upwards.
The muscles primarily stretched are the Rectus femoris, Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis and the Vastus intermedius. The secondary muscles stretched are the tensor fasciae latae and the illiopsoas.
Benefits of Stretching the Quadriceps:
Help strengthen the quadriceps muscle group aiding in stability while walking or doing any type of exercising
Increase flexibility of the thigh muscles
Help prevent injury to the back by increasing the strength in the leg muscles
Help increase circulation to the leg muscles
Loosen and warm up quadriceps prior to exercising to help prevent injury
After exercising assists in loosening up the muscles that have been strained during exercise, assist in lessening residual soreness