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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

The Quad Stretch, Perfected

Nagging knee pain? Give this stretch a try

 

When clients come in to my office with knee pain (and the joint itself isn’t the problem) the quad muscle group is usually the culprit. Many of us know how to stretch our quads by pulling our heel toward our butt. But did you know that only stretches three out of four of the quad group muscles?

Anatomy Lesson:

The “Quad” group (so named because it has four muscles) consists of the Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, and Vastus Intermedius. All four muscles attach to the back of the knee (Patellar ligament.) So from just this information, stretching the knee is indicated. But the critical differentiation is where the muscles attach at their upper (proximal) attachments. While all three of the Vastus muscles attach at the lower part of the pelvis, the Rectus Femoris attaches at the TOP of the hip. This key distinction affects how we can correctly stretch it.

 

 

 

The Stretch:

First, a definition: “Stretching” is, at it’s most simple, defined as moving the bony attachments of a muscle away from each other with the muscle straight.

When we pull our ankle to our butt, the pelvis will naturally tilt forward. When this tilt occurs, the Rectus Femoris is AUTOMATICALLY not stretching. In order for it to stretch (and it’s attachments to be pulled away from each other, the muscle needs to be straight. How can we accomplish this?

 

 

 

While holding on to something, straighten the pelvis by leaning forward as far as possible.

As you can see, this makes the Rectus Femoris completely straight from attachment to attachment, and ACTUALLY stretches the entire quad group.

When performing this stretch, most clients marvel that they feel like their quads are stretching correctly for the first time. It’s also fantastic for any nagging knee pain that might be caused by overuse of the quad group.

So the next time your knees and the front of your legs feel a little tight, pause, tip forward, and stretch that quad as completely as possible! And if all this still doesn’t work out the tension, it’s time to book an appointment for your next massage therapy session. I’ll see you in my Westport office!



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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT