Quick Tip: Do you need help loosening those quads?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Exercises, Health and Wellness, Stretches

The quadriceps are a group of muscles located at the front of your thigh and, as you know, we have a lot to thank them for. They are essential for the knee extension that we need for movements from walking to running to climbing mountains! Overuse of the quads can get in your way pretty quickly so it’s important to take care of them, especially if you’re really active. There are lots of great quad stretches to use for general care and maintenance, but we especially love this week’s Quick Tip that uses Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) to gently and effectively loosen the quads. Follow along with Scott Schwartz and Alex Brown to get a sense of how the stretch works, and then try it on for size.

Start by lying on your side with two bent legs, and with your hips and shoulders stacked. Using your top arm, guide your top bent leg in towards your chest and then away, resisting the urge to roll onto your back. You may also be tempted to let your top leg drift up towards the ceiling, but do your best to keep it pressing down towards the ground. Since this stretch uses the Active Isolated Stretching method, repeat the movement 10-12 times on each side, and move only within your comfortable range, gently pulling your leg back with the help of your arm. Though you can do this stretch on your own, if you have a friend nearby it helps to have them give you a bit more extension at the moment when your knee is farthest from your chest. Alex has super tight quads, but if you look closely you’ll see her gain more range of motion over the course of this sequence. Hopefully you’ll have the same result!