This muscle group extends the leg while straightening the knee and is a primary mover in stair climbing and cycling. Injuries to the quadriceps muscle are often caused by a strength or flexibility imbalance between the quadriceps and the hamstrings.
This stretch can also be used to stretch the hip flexors and psoas muscles.
There are many different ways to stretch your quadriceps, but here is a more advanced stretch that many pro athletes use after a good warm up.
- To get into the proper position, loop an exercise band around your arch while you are in a kneeling position.
- Lay down on your belly, while holding the exercise band in one hand and off to your side (keeping some tension so the band stays on your foot)
- Reach your arms out in front of you and grab the band with both hands as you bend the knee of the leg with the band on the foot (see example photo).
- Slowing apply tension to the exercise band until you feel a stretch along the front of your hip, quadriceps and entire thigh.
- Be careful not to strain your bent knee. If you feel any discomfort in the knee joint, let go of some tension in the band.
- Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and repeat on the other leg.
- Keep in mind that the goal is not to touch your heel to your buttock, but rather to stretch the thigh.