Your quads are the big group of muscles at the front of your legs and they can often get tight from sitting a lot. If your quads are tight, you may notice it around your knee joint which is one end of the muscle group. The other end is your hips so they are a good all rounder to add to your regular stretch routine. Here are 3 ways to improve your Quad stretches
There is no ‘best’ way to stretch your quads but there are alignments that will feel really awkward for you if your quads feel tight. Often a good starting point is the one that lets you cheat a wee bit if you are feeling tight. For many the standing version is quite useful to experiment with to see if you can get into a good position.
I also find the side lying version accessible for many (if you have attended one of my Pilates classes you will probably have stretched your quads in this alignment). Being on a mat can help with feedback, particularly if keeping a neutral spine is challenging. The prone version is a bit hit and miss as to whether it will be accessible, but has the added value of feedback from your mat.
Props and Small Equipment
If you have tight quads then you may find a yoga strap or Pilates band can help you get into a comfortable alignment. It can often feel like you need longer arms to get in a good position if your quads are tight so experimenting using a band or strap can be helpful
If you are in a class, you may do a standing quad stretch as part of the warm up or cool down. These are balance exercises too, deliberately or otherwise, there may not be enough time for you to get to a wall for support before it’s off to the next movement. If you have tight quads, it might not be a stretch for you at all and you may need to stretch them differently after the class. You can watch my YouTube video on Multitasking here which includes the quad stretch
Stretching is a skill. Improvements come with experimenting with variations and finding out what works for you, whatever exercise season you are in. Then that repetition becomes knowledge for your Exercise Toolkit.
Samantha Valand is a Pilates teacher, Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer. Who helps women fall in love with exercising again after the menopause. You can find some inspiration over on the blog Samatha has a free newsletter and a fun way to sign up is through my 'Exercising and Elements | Post menopause Quiz' which help you figure out what type of fitness goal to set next using Exercising and Elements framework