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Tight quadriceps (quad) muscles are very common since they can be caused by overuse (for example, focused weight lifting or repetitive motions like cycling) or underuse (for example, lots of sitting). The problem with tight quads is that they often lead to postural problems and pain throughout various regions of the body. The 5-Minute Quad Stretch will help you find and relieve tight areas throughout your quads.

Could this help you?

Ignoring tight quads is a bad idea because they can lead to postural imbalances and contribute to pain in your lower back, hips and knees. If you are experiencing symptoms in any of those areas, you sit for long periods, or you have tight quads from exercising, this stretch is worth trying. It’s also much more effective than the static quad stretch you’re probably used to because it reduces muscle adhesions and hits every part of your quads.

What you’ll need

You can do the 5-Minute Quad Stretch anywhere you have something to lean on to support your balance.

Goal
Reduce movement restrictions throughout your quads to relieve pressure on your pelvis, lower back and knees.

Exercise overview

The 5-Minute Quad Stretch uses a combination of light stretching and motions across several different planes to break up tight spots. As with a standard static quad stretch, you grasp the top of your foot with your hand. But that’s where the similarities stop. Instead of simply pulling your foot back and out to stretch the front of your quad, with the 5-Minute Quad Stretch you continually move your quad around in relation to your hips to help work through movement restrictions and achieve a more thorough and effective stretch. It’s called the 5-Minute Quad Stretch because when you do it properly it takes that long to work through all of the different areas of your quads.

 

 

Frequency and Tips

You can perform the 5-Minute Quad Stretch throughout the day based on your personal needs.

If you sit a lot or have quad tightness for any other reason, aim to perform the stretch at least once a day on each leg.

When you are getting started, don’t worry if you struggle with performing the stretch for the full five minutes. Just be sure to spend time working through each of the key movements and increase the duration over time (it’s okay to take breaks!).

Bonus: Foam roll your quads prior to performing the stretch to increase effectiveness and reduce pain.

How to stay safe

Be sure to have something to balance against.

Avoid pulling hard enough on your foot to cause discomfort in your knee, hips or lower back. The stretch should feel good and performing the movements properly will be enough to help increase your range of motion.

If you have knee issues or injuries, consult with your doctor before trying this stretch.

Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise.

We’re here to help

With the help of the video, the 5-Minute Quad Stretch is pretty straightforward. But if you have any questions about knee pain or anything else related to the stretch, we’d be happy to answer them.