What are the quads?
- The quadriceps femoris is a four-headed muscle that runs down the front of your thigh, from the top of the femur (thigh bone), down to the patella (kneecap). It is made up of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and rectus femoris.
- The quads extend (straighten) the knee and flex the hip, pulling the torso and thigh towards each other.
How do the quads get tight?
Sports like mountain biking, snowboarding, ski-ing and surfing are heavily quad-dominant. If you don't stretch out properly after exercising, over time these muscles can get super tight. They get even tighter if you sit for long periods at work or while travelling and are commonly accompanied by weak glutes and shortened hip flexors.
How do tight quads affect your performance?
- Tight quads reduce power, speed, energy efficiency, endurance and agility.
- Tight quads can lead to lower back and knee pain.
The yoga prescription
To release tight quads, we need to:
- Strengthen the glutes.
- Open up the hips.
- Release the quads.
Please get the all clear from your doctor or physical therapist before doing any of the following exercises if you have injuries or other conditions that might put you at risk.
Click on the images for full instructions.
Phase One: Strengthen your glutes
In the Yoga 15 Flexibility series, look for the video, "Increasing Quad Flexibility". Here is the link:
Other things you can do
- Foam roll the quads, glutes and hamstrings.
- Strengthen your glutes at the gym with deadlifts, hip thrusts, step-ups, squats, lunges and kettlebell swings.
- Drink more water to hydrate your muscles. Add coconut water for an electrolyte boost.