If Your Thighs Are Sore, These 5 Quad Stretches Will Feel So Good
Stretching out the quads is a must after hiking, cycling, running, stair-stepping, or any other activity that gives your thighs a workout. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to loosen and relieve soreness in these muscles, including these five stretches, which are some of our favorites.
Lying Side Quad Stretch
This is a great stretch if you have knee issues or if you'd rather recline than stand up.
- Lie down on one side and prop your head up with your hand. Pull your foot toward your butt; bend your bottom knee if you're having trouble staying steady.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Standing Quad Stretch
This basic quad stretch can be done anytime, anywhere.
- Stand on one leg with your knees touching. If you need to, grab hold of a chair or wall for support.
- Grab your left foot with your left hand and pull toward your butt. Do your best to keep your chest upright, and don't worry about how close your foot is to your butt. Keep your focus on getting a good stretch in your quad.
- Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then stretch the other leg.
Kneeling Quad Stretch
For a slightly different effect from the standing and reclined versions, this kneeling quad stretch loosens the muscles right above your knee especially well.
- Start off in a high lunge position, with your right foot forward. Then, slowly drop your left knee to the ground.
- Take a few moments to find balance, and once you're stabilized, with your left arm, reach back for your toes on your left foot.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Slowly release your hold on your left foot. Come back to the high lunge position, then switch sides with your left foot forward. Perform this move on your right quad.
This yoga pose is challenging, but great for stretching your quads, opening your hips, and giving you a spinal twist. If this stretch is uncomfortable at all, release the pose and return to the more basic stretches.
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Bring your right knee forward between your hands and come into Pigeon pose.
- Rest your right hand beside your right shin and bend your left knee.
- Reach for your left foot with your left hand and work on gently pressing the sole of your left foot down in the direction of your left hip.
- Now place your right hand on the top of your left foot and twist to the left, wrapping your left hand around your lower back. If you can, grab onto your upper right thigh in front of your hip.
- Use your hands to press into your body and get you deeper into the twist.
- Stay here for five or more breaths, and then release your hands and straighten out your left leg.
- Twist your body back towards the right and plant your palms on either side of your right knee.
- Step your right leg back and come into Downward Facing Dog for one complete breath. Then bring your left knee forward in between your hands and do this pose on the other side.
This pose stretches out the front of your thighs, but it will also give you a nice stretch in the chest and shoulders. It's another advanced move, so pay attention to your body and stop the stretch if you feel any pain.
- Lie on your stomach and prop your torso up with your elbows. Bend both knees and reach your hands back to hold on to your feet.
- Turn your fingers so they are pointing in the same direction as your toes, and lift your elbows up so they're pointing toward the ceiling. Lift your chest as high as you can.
- If you experience pain in the knee, don't press your foot down as hard, or do one side at a time.
- Stay here for five deep breaths.