What does King Arthur have to do with quad stretches? You might be sad you asked.
When you think of King Arthur, what do you think of? The Knights of the Round Table. To be knighted, you get down on one knee. That’s pretty much what we’ll be doing today and it helps to imagine that you’re being knighted to distract your mind from the sensations that may be happening in your quads.
Getting to know your quads
The quadriceps (quads) is a group of muscles that is chronically tight for runners and athletes, yogis included. We tend to do lots of lunges and standing postures in yoga classes. When it comes time to stretch, hamstrings are frequent requests but rarely do yoga instructors call for quad stretches.
The truth is it’s somewhat difficult to stretch the quads and by that I mean the postures that help us stretch the quads can be difficult in and of themselves and require quite a bit of flexibility in other places to get there.
That doesn’t mean you get a pass and don’t have to stretch them though!
For those of you that didn’t know, the quadriceps are a group of 4 muscles (hence the name quads). Together they from the muscles on the front of your thigh and they help flex the hip and extend the knee. In other words, we need the quads to walk and run, to bring our knee up to our chest and to stand up after folding forward to pick something up off the ground. We need the quads to kick a soccer ball, for quick reaction time to get out of danger’s way fast, and basically to move. They’re an important set of 4 muscles that provide us strength and stability between the hip and knee. In fact, 1 of the 4 muscles, the rectus femoris, crosses both the knee and the hip joint!
Stretch the quads
The yoga postures that you may have practiced before to help you stretch the quads include a standing one-legged balance posture pulling your heel into your glute (think elementary school gym class) or a twisted Runner’s Lunge where you grab the back foot and pull it in towards the glute. You also stretch the quads in the back leg when you’re in lunges.
If your quads are sore, feel overworked, of if you’re not sure and want to check in to see how your quads are doing, practice these 3 yoga stretches to give your quads some love.
Enjoy King Arthur, and remember, the more you imagine how badass you are as you’re about to get knighted, the less you’ll dwell on the discomfort happening in the quads!
In this video, you’ll need a wall nearby and a blanket or rolled up mat to pad up your knee. You might also want to have some blocks or thick books handy for extra support.
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