The thigh stretch exercise, often called the quadriceps stretch, targets the muscles at the front of the thigh, known as the quadriceps.
- The thigh stretch is an exercise that aims to stretch the muscles in your thighs.
- Stretching muscles in the thighs increases the blood flow to these muscles, which softens the muscle tissue, makes them strong, and prevents a probable muscle tear or sprain.
- The physiotherapist often recommends thigh stretch exercises after a leg or lower-body injury.
Army PRT Thigh Stretch Exercise
The Thigh stretch is the fourth of the five recovery drill exercises. This exercise develops flexibility in the front of the thigh and the hip flexor muscles.
- Seated position, arms at sides, and palms on the floor.
- On the command “Ready, STRETCH,” roll onto the right side and place the right forearm on the ground, perpendicular to the chest.
- The right-hand makes a fist on the ground with the thumb side up.
- Grasp the left ankle with the left hand, pull the left heel toward the buttocks, and pull the entire leg rearward.
- Push the left thigh further to the rear with the heel of the right foot.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
- On the command “Starting Position, MOVE,” assume the starting position.
- On the command “Change Position, Ready, STRETCH,” lie on the left side and place the left forearm on the ground, perpendicular to the chest.
- The left-hand makes a fist on the ground with the thumb side up.
- Grasp the right ankle with the right hand and pull the right heel toward the buttocks, pulling the entire leg rearward.
- Push the right thigh further to the rear with the heel of the left foot.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
- On the command “Starting Position, MOVE,” return to the starting position.
- Keep the abdominal muscles tight throughout this stretch in order to keep the trunk straight.
- Do not pull the heel forcefully to the buttock if there is discomfort in the knee joint.
Muscles Worked by Thigh Stretches
As you can anticipate, thigh stretch exercises target the muscles in the thigh but can also focus on supporting muscles depending on the variation you are practicing.
In general, the thigh muscles these stretches target include:
- Quadriceps Muscles (front of thigh)
- Hamstring Muscles (back of thigh)
- Adductor Muscles (inside thigh)
How to do Thigh Stretches at Home
There are many variations of thigh stretching, including:
- Stretching through butterfly pose
- Stretching while pressing lower body against the wall
- Thigh Stretching with side lunges
- Touch your toes
- Thigh Stretch with Yoga poses, etc.
Here, we are discussing the steps for the general thigh stretch. Follow the steps in the same order and improve your thighs’ muscle strength and functional capacity.
- Stand straight while keeping your foot at a distance of hip-width
- Hold the wall or any sturdy equipment to balance your body
- Now bend the left knee such that your foot faces the ceiling and hold your ankle in the left hand
- Pull the left foot so your knee points towards the floor.
- Hold this position for a good 20 to 30 seconds (you will feel the muscles stretching in your thighs)
- Return to the original position and repeat the exercise by switching legs.
- Perform at least 2 to 3 reps on each side.
Here are a few tips that you can follow to perform the exercise correctly:
- Use core muscles to maintain the body balance
- Make sure that your upper body is upright
- Don’t lean your body while exercising
- Initially, do comfortable stretching and gradually increase the pace and level of exercise
- Take a deep breath
Benefits of Thigh stretching
Thigh stretch exercises strengthen the muscles in the thighs, along with the following benefits:
- It enhances flexibility in the lower body.
- It improves your posture, as you can stand firm if your thigh muscles are strong.
- It reduces the tightness in the muscles, which can be a product of sitting for extended hours. A thigh stretch is necessary if you are doing a desk job.
- It makes the thigh muscles strong and prevents injuries.
Drawbacks of the Thigh Strech Exercise
Along with the benefits, there are certainly associated downsides that you should be aware of before doing the thigh stretch exercise.
- If done incorrectly, you can put excessive pressure on the thigh muscles, leading to pain and muscle sprains.
- You can lose balance if your muscles are too weak. Imbalance can lead to discomfort and even make you fall.
- Never stretch more than your body allows; overstretching can result in tearing or spraining thigh muscles.