Why It’s Important To Stretch The Quadriceps?
- Posture problems
- Athletic performance
- Lower back pain (e.j)
It’s important to stretch the quads because any tightness in that area will affect its neighbour: the hip-flexors. And we all know what happens when those get tight: they pull on the pelvis; the pelvis tilts forward; and you end up with a forward-tilted pelvis, anterior pelvic tilt.
There is nothing that is truly independent in the body. Muscles work with each other. If something is tense, tight, elongated or whatever, it is going to affect the rest of the body in a positive–or negative–way. You can’t escape that.
To make it short, the quadriceps are extremely important! They have to be. Otherwise it wouldn’t be such an issue for so many people–which it is; they just don’t know it yet.
Until they experience massive lower-back issues (which is one of the most common health-problems people have today) they will not seek to correct, or even identify quadricep tightness. Why would they, after all? Why would they try to correct something they are not even aware of.
We only fix problems that are problematic. Something problematic…is something that interferes with our daily lives.
The exception to all of this might be athletes; but in their case, the sport they’re doing is just so encompassing, so consuming, so powerful in their lives that it becomes a daily preocupation. Not to mention, their body is their life; which doesn’t really make it relevant for the ordinary citizen out there.
Like with all the stretches I give, I recommend massaging the muscle with a hard-ball–before actually stretching.
Yesterday, I was with a friend. He had back problems. I told him to stretch his back, and it relieved his tigthness but, only up to a certain point.
He told me he felt like he couldn’t stretch any further, like a limit was placed on him. I collected my wits. I thought it through; and I remembered that, when I had this issue myself, in the past, I always noticed: after massaging my back with my baseball, I was able to get much more out of the stretching sessions.
That is when I realised how essential it was, for one to massage first and then stretch. Believe me, my friend thanked me afterwards. He was in pain, yes, but it was a “good-kind of pain”. The kind that gives you pleasure, in a paradoxical way.
It’s the pleasure that drives you forward. No one likes pain; but a pain-ish delight is addictive. And you keep on going. It’s important to combine the two, alternate: one time the stretching, then you switch to the massage, and so on. Keep doing it until the muscle and tissue relax completely. My friend did it…and so did I. Now, we’re free of upper-back pain.
Quadricep issue is just part of the problem
- Work hip-flexors
- Anterior-pelvic-tilt or Posterior-pelvic-tilt: the bigger picture
What can I tell you guys, that I haven’t said already? A problem in the quadriceps is not just a leg issue; it’s only were the pain manifests itself. What do I mean by that? In this case, tight quadricep muscles contribute greatly to tight hip-flexors and, in effect, anterior pelvic tilt.
The three are related and dependent on each other–for example, you can’t have tight quadriceps without short and tight hip-flexors. It’s just not physically possible. I hope you see this. “Too obvious” you might say. Nonetheless, it is important to mention.
So, it goes without saying, that, to truly rid yourself of this plague; you have to stretch the hip-flexor muscles–as well (I explain how to work that area in another post, look it up!).
If you still aren’t satisfied, then…I don’t know what to do with you! I’m joking. There is one other thing you can do; however, it’s a bit painful. I have discovered that for some reason, stretching the abdominal area helped relax several other body parts–all of them. It’s not really surprising actually, everything is connected.
It works like this: The abdominals get tight; they pull on the hip-flexors; your whole lower-body shifts forward, because of the tight hip-flexors; then the pelvis tilts forward; the hamstrings are stretched–and the quadriceps get tight in an un-natural position: chronically tense, and tight. All of this is how a anterior pelvic tilt happens (In a posterior pelvic tilt it is different).
The kettlebell is the tool of choice then to massage the abs (one of 20kg is best).
Here are the stretch exercises: