Not feeling anything with your basic quad stretches? Do these advanced moves to reach those muscles.
Runners always go for quad, hamstring, and calf stretches after a run because those are the most used muscles. However, the quads can be tricky to stretch, especially if those muscles are flexible to begin with.
For a fuller and deeper stretch to relax tense muscles for better rest and recovery, try these advanced quad stretches for runners.
(Also read: Foam Rolling Exercises For Runners)
Deep low lunge
The simple low lunge can still do the trick – but only if you sink deep enough. You can bring your feet farther apart to increase space and distance as you really lower your body to the floor. Lowering your forearms to the ground can increase the intensity, but that stretches more of the front leg’s hamstring.
Instead, straighten your back and lift your body up as you reach your fingertips to the ground. Walk them to your back foot and arch your back if that feels comfortable.
(Also read: 5 Calf Stretches That Every Runner Should Do)
The pigeon pose helps to stretch your outer thighs, but if you’re looking for something more, work towards the king pigeon pose.
From pigeon pose, lift your arms over your head and bend your elbows. Bend your back foot and try to grab your ankle with your hands. Make sure your hips and shoulders stay aligned. Use a strap if you can’t reach or if your shoulders are tilted. Sit on a yoga block if one hip lifts. If you find it hard to balance, bring your front foot towards your body instead of keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle.
(Also read: 9 Hip Opening Yoga Poses You Should Be Doing)
Front split with bent back knee
Again, quad stretches are intensified when you bend your knees because you can add weight to the stretch by pressing your foot down.
In a front split, keep your hips square as you bend your back foot. Use the same side’s hand to bring your foot closer to your butt. To stretch more of the outer quad, push your foot towards your butt and towards the side, away from your body.
Reclining hero pose
Sitting on your heels will stretch your quads and feet, and placing the front of your feet flat on the ground will increase the stretch.
To go even deeper, rest in a reclined position by lowering your back to the floor, using your arms to guide you down. You can keep your knees together or slightly apart. Avoid this if you have knee pain or injury.
(Also read: Best Floor Stretches For Runners with Tight Muscles)
Moving your split from a seated position to a standing one will change your centre of balance, stretching different areas of your legs. Gravity will also help to bring your top leg to the front of the room, amplifying your quad stretch.