(Main muscles Involved: Quadriceps – Rectus Femoris, Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis)
The following quad stretches are designed to improve the flexibility of the quadriceps muscle (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.
To begin with, the following quad stretches should be held for 15 seconds and repeated 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free. Generally you should choose one or two of the following stretches that are most comfortable for you and perform them 3 times daily. As your flexibility improves, the stretches can be progressed by increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of the stretches provided they are pain free.
Quad Stretch in Standing
Use a chair or table for balance. Take your heel towards your bottom, keeping your knees together and your back straight until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh (figure 2). Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free.
Quadriceps Self Massage Exercises
The following quadriceps self massage exercises are designed to improve the flexibility of the quadriceps and are an excellent addition to the above quad stretches. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.
Foam Roller Quadriceps Release
Place the foam roller under your quadriceps (front of your thighs) as demonstrated (figure 5). Using your arms, slowly move your body forward and backwards allowing the foam roller to massage the front of your thighs. Breathe normally keeping your legs relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. This exercise can be progressed by crossing your legs and massaging one thigh at a time.