How to Do Quadriceps Stretches - Howcast

How to Do Quadriceps Stretches

Learn how to do quadriceps stretches in this Howcast video about physical therapy exercises for the knees.

Transcript

Hi. My name is Eric Sampson, and I want to talk a little bit about how to do a quadriceps stretch. Quadriceps is probably your most important muscle for your knee. It is the large muscle in the front of your knee. It is made up of four parts. That's why it's called a quadriceps. You have your vastus medialis on the inner, your lateralis on the lateral side. In the middle, you have two. You have your intermedius as well as your rectus femoris. The rectus femoris is the one deepest and that, along with another muscle of your thigh, called your sartorius, are muscles that actually cross your hip joint. They all are going to attach to your knee, but two of them are going to attach up here by your hip. So, it's important, when you're stretching out your quadriceps, to make sure you're addressing your hip. Too often I see in the clinic people trying to stretch out their knee by tugging their heel up towards their buttocks, but they're not addressing their hip angle enough, and they might be causing too much joint compression on their knee.

It's an important muscle to stretch because it's very active with our running, with our exercise population, and it ends up being fatigued and tightened with too much exercise.

So the classic quadriceps stretch is going to be in standing, and the key thing is to grab your foot and to make sure you place your hip in the right position. The first thing is to get your knees together, then bring the leg you're stretching behind the other leg, and that puts this on the right angle, and from there you pull up.

When you start to pull up, you should feel an intense stretch or a moderate stretch in the front of the thigh, and you can try to hold it for about 15 to 20 seconds per repetition. It's a stretch, so you might want to do stretching on a daily basis in the presence of an injury or a tight tissue, maybe two repetitions each time you do it, and continue that for a few weeks and see if you can loosen up the quadriceps.

So, it's an important exercise to continue doing on a daily basis, the quadriceps, and if you do it once or twice a day on a regular basis, you should get by.

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