Stretches for the Quadriceps

Walker, Brad. Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility. 3rd ed. 2011. Print.

The quadriceps is a large group of muscles located in the anterior (front) of
the thigh. They originate from above the hip joint and extend to below the
knee. The primary action of the quadriceps is to extend the knee joint, but in
conjunction with a number of other muscles in the front of the hip, they are
also associated with hip flexion.

The following quadriceps stretches (F02, F04, F05, F06, and F07) place the
knee joint into full flexion, which can stress the anatomical structures of the
knee joint. If you have a knee injury or suffer from knee pain, take extra
care when performing these stretches or avoid them altogether.

Sports that benefit from these quadriceps stretches include: Cycling; Hiking,
Backpacking, Mountaineering and Orienteering; Ice Hockey and Field
Hockey; Ice Skating, Roller Skating and Inline Skating; Martial Arts;
Running, Track and Cross Country; running sports like Football, Soccer,
Gridiron and Rugby; Snow Skiing and Water Skiing; Surfing; Walking and
Race Walking.

The major muscles being stretched.

Rectus femoris
Vastus intermedius
Vastus lateralis
Vastus medialis


F01 – Kneeling Quad Stretch: Kneel on one foot and the other knee. If needed,
hold on to something to keep your balance and then push your hips forward.


F02 – Standing Quad Stretch: Stand upright while balancing on one leg. Pull your
other foot up behind your buttocks and keep your knees together while
pushing your hips forward. Hold on to something for balance if needed.


F03 – Standing Reach-up Quad Stretch: Stand upright and take one small step
forward. Reach up with both hands, push your hips forward, lean back and
then lean away from your back leg.


F04 – Lying Quad Stretch: Lie face down, reach back with one hand and pull one
foot up behind your buttocks.


F05 – Lying Side Quad Stretch: Lie on your side and pull your top leg behind your
buttocks. Keep your knees together and push your hips forward.


F06 – Single Lean-back Quad Stretch: Sit on the ground, bend one knee and place
that foot next to your buttocks. Then slowly lean backwards.


F07 – Double Lean-back Quad Stretch: Sit on the ground, bend both knees and
place your feet next to your buttocks. Then slowly lean backwards.