Your quads, the big muscles in the front of your thighs, are a powerhouse muscle. While having strong, powerful muscles is a good thing, balancing muscles is important to keeping your stride healthy. Here are some ideas to keep your quads lean and flexible.
- Kneeling quad/hip flexor stretch
- Get in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Your right knee should be directly over your ankle and your left leg should be extended behind you with your toes curled under on the floor.
- Allow your left knee to drop to the floor, keeping the toes tucked.
- Press your hips forward toward the front of the room, while keeping your right knee directly over your right ankle.
- If you can, reach back and grab the toes of your left foot, raising them towards your butt. It will look like this: http://www.yogaclass.ie/images/lunge-quad-stretch.jpg
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Standing quad stretch
- Standing on your left leg, raise your right leg toward your butt by bending your knee and lifting your toes off of the floor
- Grab the top of your right foot with your right hand.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
- Repeat on the other side
- Foam roller quad release
- Place your roller on the ground horizontally.
- Position the middle of the front of your thighs on the roller. You will be facing the floor and will need to place your weight on your forearms to support yourself. Engage your abs to keep your back from collapsing.
- Roll forward up to the knee and back down toward the top of your thigh.
- Repeat this movement 10 times, holding for 30 seconds on any muscle knots you may find.
These three stretch/release techniques will help to keep your quads limber. Perform the stretches only after you run to ensure you get the most power out of your workout, the foam roller exercise can be completed any time. You will also want to make sure you are performing hamstring strength training exercises to balance out the strength in the front and back of your thighs. By keeping your whole leg strong and flexible, you’ll be on the best path to maintaining your resilient running stride.
Zohra Ashpari, “Running Tips: 3 Essential Quad Stretches,” Healthline, accessed November 2016. http://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-tips-quad-stretches
Jenny Sugar, “5 Move to Stretch Out Your Quads,” Popsugar, accessed November 2016. http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Best-Quad-Stretches-3060365#photo-3060365
Julian Goater and Don Melvin, “Stretching your quadriceps, hip flexors, and adductors,” Human Kinetics, accessed November 2016. http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/stretching-your-quadriceps-hip-flexors-and-adductors
Lara Rosenbaum, “Foam Rolling for Runners,” Runner’s World, accessed November 2016. http://www.runnersworld.com/health/foam-rolling-for-runners
Sarah Scholl, “Owner’s Manual: Strong Hamstrings,” Runner’s World, accessed November 2016. http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/owners-manual-strong-hamstrings
Richelle Wescott, NASM CPT, M.S. Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, accessed January 2018 at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richellewescott/
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