If you want to have particular body physics, then you need to start working on a particular group of muscles. This is what is known as targeted body workouts.
You can engage in various works. But if you have plans to work out on your Quads Strengthening Exercises and start building this muscles with most effective way, without expose yourself or muscle to any possible injury, then it’s better to start in right way by stretch muscle and warm-up this body part.
In this article, We are going to look into quad stretches in detail, so Let’s Dive In.
What is Quadriceps Tendon Muscle?
This refers to a group of four muscles located in the anterior part or front of your thighs. These muscles work with the hamstring to extend and bend the legs. We intend to use these muscles in our daily activities such as walking, running, jumping and even cycling.
These activities can make the muscles tight and at times the tightness can be caused by various injuries. This kind of injuries include Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBS) and spinal stenosis among others.
There are stretches that will help you to relieve and even build the muscles especially if you are an athlete. I do recommend that you stretch before starting the normal exercises. This will help to prevent injuries that might occur during the training.
Quad Strain or Quad Pain
It is a pain felt on the thighs during or after an activity. This could be during running, playing heavy soccer match or squat lifting. The quad muscles cross the hip and the knee joints which makes it prone to injuries every time.
The injury occurs when a lot of tension is placed on the muscles. This, in turn, leads to torn muscles a condition known as quad strain. However, you can still get the quad strains form simply engaging in activities such as jumping, sprinting, hopping, among others.
Quad Pain Symptoms and Signs
This particular condition also has signs and symptoms to look out for. You should not ignore them therefore consult your doctor first before starting any form of exercises. This is because you might be causing more harm than benefit to the muscles. So insure not to ignore them.
- You might have a sharp pain when kicking, jumping, running or when going up a staircase.
- The quad muscles will feel stiff and overly tired.
- You might have difficulty straightening and bending the knee.
- You might as well feel an inflammation, swelling or bruising on the front thigh muscles.
This is the remedy to get rid of the quad pains. Though I still insist on consulting your doctor before starting the quads stretches incase have a serious pain. The stretches you engage in act as a way to releasing the muscle tension.
There are two types of stretching you could choose for, either static or dynamic stretching. The dynamic stretching involves movement and it incorporates warm-up exercises such as jumping rope or even jogging on the spot.
On the other hand static is a work that doesn’t involve any movements. The kind of workout you choose depends on what you find comfortable and convenient doing. Here are various exercises that you can do in the gym or even at home.
1) The Frog Pose
Yoga pose frog, it is the ideal workout since it stretches the thighs and gluteus maximus as well. Plus it also helps to stretch the chest, shoulder blades and arms. The frog stretch doesn’t involve any movements, therefore you can do it in the house without going to the gym.
How to Perform
- Start by lying on your stomach, and then prop your torso up on elbows.
- Then bend both knees, and reach back to hold your feet. At this point, you should start to feel the stretching of the muscles. If you lack the mobility to do it, I would recommend using a towel to fill the gap.
- Afterward, adjust your fingers to point the same way as the toes, then carefully lift your elbows to point to the ceiling. This should be done slowly not rapture any muscle tissue.
- Remember to push your chest up as high as you can and then stop at this pose until the pain is felt on the knees or hip. You need to maintain the position for five breaths and then relax. Do not over do it, if it’s your first time.
2) Standing Quad Stretch
This is a form of static stretching that you can opt for as well. The workout does not limit you since it can be done anywhere and anytime. You could do it in the house, office, or even on the road as you walk. As long as you have a space to stand you are good to go.
However, you must stop the workout immediately you feel a sharp pain. This show you are not doing the quads correctly or you have an injury in the tissue. You can redo the work and if your pain persists, it is better to consult your doctor.
How to Perform
- You can hold onto a chair or table for support and balance, if this is a first time. However, by time you will be able to do it without any supports. Make sure you do not lean completely on the chair or table.
- Then bend the knee back and grasp your ankle with one hand. You should bend the knees as far as possible and maintain the position for 30 seconds.
- After the 30 seconds are over return to standing position. Make sure you repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times with each leg.
3) Lying Pigeon Stretch Progression using Band
If you do enjoy yoga then I am certain you will prefer this pose. It doesn’t stretch your quads only but the back as well. Plus it’s a great hip flexor stretch.
How to Perform
- Make sure you place a mat on the floor and then lie face down.
- Then secure a resistance band or towel around your left foot, with the excess band or towel in a reachable area.
- After that grab the towel or band with your left hand. Make sure the right leg extended and then bend your left knee. The toes are supposed to be pointed toward the ceiling.
- Pull forward the band or towel until you feel the stretch in the muscles. Hold the position for 20 seconds afterward pull further.
- Return to the starting position, switch to the right leg and repeat the steps.
4) The Kneeling Quad Stretch
This is slightly different from other workouts since it involves loosening the muscles just above the knee joint. This particular stretch prevents knee pain and increases mobility.
How to Perform
- Place a mat on the floor to protect the knee from a hard surface.
- Then begin the stretch in a high lunge position. It can be the right foot or left foot. However, I am going to start with the right foot lunge forward.
- Then after lunging your feet forward drop your left knee to the floor carefully. Do not rush the process since you have to make sure you have attained your balance before continuing.
- Once you have the balance, reach back with your left arm and grab your toes or ankle. However, this will depend on what you find easier to grab. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Make sure your body is well balanced or you will have to start the whole process again.
- Push a little further to get a hip flexor stretch and then return to the starting position. Then switch to the right foot and start the whole process again.
5) The Lying Quad Stretch
This is a kind of starch that deals with the hip and thigh muscles, legs and feet as well. I would recommend this particular workout for a person who is suffering from pain in either of the areas.
How to Perform
- Place a mat and lie in a face-down position or lie on your right side depending on what you find comfortable. Then prop your head with your right hand.
- After a few seconds, using left hand pull the left foot toward your butt and bend your right knee to stabilize yourself.
- Hold onto the ankle and maintain the position for 30 seconds. After that return to the starting position and switch to the left foot side.
Avoid below Mistakes in Quad Stretching
There are various mistakes that you could do unknowing. This are what renders the squads ineffective. To ensure you are doing the quads correctly here are some of the things to avoid doing.
(i) Squatting With Incorrect Form
When doing squats you are not supposed to lean too far forward and push your hips far backward. Doing this means you are working out your hips, butt, and back forgetting the quads. Plus having done the squads in this manner leads to problems such as straining your spinal erectors. The ideal way to do the squads is by:
- If you take a stance that’s beyond your shoulder width, make sure your toes angled slightly outward. However, if you are tall, you will need to make a wider stance to be comfortable.
- Look ahead when doing each rep and concentrate on the arch in your lower back.
- Plus remember to put your butt over your heels. It will be like you are about to sit down on a chair.
- Then afterward drive out of the hole, while moving your hips. After that, you can move your knees.
- Make sure you are in an upright posture and not leaning. This can be done by sitting on a bench and squatting at the half-standing, half-sitting position when the chair is moved. At this point, I would recommend that you do not lift any weights until you have mastered this art.
(ii) Incorrectly Targeting Areas
Most people who are doing this particular workout do not know how to target the four quadriceps muscles. You will find an individual doing a wide stance thinking this will work with the inner and outer area of the muscles.
However, that is not the case, since the work out concentrates on the inner thigh muscles. The exercise also focus on quads and glutes less by moving the feet further forward when doing hack squats.
The ideal way to target the area correctly is by doing the following:
- Always keep your feet under your hips during exercises. This ensures you target the Quads more and less Glutes. You must take a narrow stance when working out. This will focus more on the outer quads.
- Remember to always point your toes in. It ensures you work the outer quads more. On the other hand, when you point the toes out, it means you are working out the inner quads more.
(iii) Going Too Heavy
This is something that we thinks it will work and build their muscles faster, especially in a gym. The reason behind it, can be because you have seen another person lifting heavy metal and that build their muscles. Therefore you want to do the same to be able to work those muscles.
If you see a person is squatting having many plates let it not intimidate you. When you start doing this you will be feeding your ego and not building any muscles as much as you thinking. Therefore take your time and start small, you will build eventually effective muscles.
It would be better if you talk to the instructor and tell him or her what is it your goals to work on. Always remember to focus on the muscle and not the weight.
When doing the quads it’s required to be determined and focused. There is no gain without pain, hence trust the process. If you find it hard to do it, you can follow How to Motivate Yourself for Workouts. This will give you a sense of accountability and also boost your moral.
Quad Stretches is one kind of workout that also has benefits that come with it. This includes losing extra calories, improving your body stability among others. However, if you have any health issue it is crucial to consult your physician before embarking on these exercises. This is because they will advise you if the workout is safe or not.