Stretch your quad!
Why runners, swimmers, athletes of all levels, walkers and desk sitters (aka all y’all’s) need to stretch their quad.
We’ve all seen it. “Dancer” pose to yogis. Generic “quad stretch” to most of the world. Even most beginner runners instinctively know they need to stretch their quad. But most of us don’t do it. Or we do it improperly for five seconds. Because we don’t know quite how.
Here’s a quick tutorial.
You’ve just finished your activity.
Start by coming to standing mountain pose. Plant your feet on the ground, hip width apart and parallel. Toes point forward.
Pick the leg you start with. Let’s look at our right leg here. Bring your hands to your hips.Lift the knee-cap up on the standing left leg, taking care not to lock out the knee and jam it back. Spread the weight evenly on the left foot. Breaststroke your right arm out to grab the outside of the right foot. From there, you could keep your left hand on your hip for balance or you extend and reach your left arm up like you could give someone a high five.
You may stay here, as pictured below, working to bring the knee in line with the hip. (For many of us with tighter bodies the knee loves to splay out to the side and far forward.
If you feel you want to go more deeply into the pose, begin to lift more vigorously through the extended left arm. Reach towards the ceiling and as you lift and reach up, begin to kick the right knee back behind you. Only kick back as much as you are lifting up. Kick and lift. Kick and lift.
Return to mountain pose and repeat on second side.
Do you love quad stretches? Do you do them after your runs? Will you now?
Let me know in the comments below!