The quad foam roll is a great
exercise to improve the flexibility of the quads (quadriceps).
It can be
used as a warm-up or cool-down exercise, or as part of a corrective exercise
program for injury prevention or rehabilitation.
To perform the quad foam roll correctly, you must start by lying on your front and place the roller at the top of your thigh. Bend the opposite leg and put it to the side away from the roller. Rest your body weight comfortably through the forearms/shoulders.
Using your arms and an opposite leg for support, slowly move your body weight forward as the roller runs down the thigh. This should be a prolonged, controlled movement – the entire roll should last 30 sec from top of the leg to just above the knee.
If you feel any specifically tight point in the quads, hold your position on this point for 5 secs until the tightness reduces – then continue to roll down the thigh.
Breathe deeply during the rolling and repeat 2-3 times as necessary.
The quadriceps muscles are powerful stabilizers of the knee and are engaged in many upright activities including running, squatting, stepping and jumping. As such, this muscle group can become prone to tightness/shortness, and if left unchecked may lead to tendonitis in the quadriceps tendon. With this in mind, regular foam rolling should become part of your warm-up or cool-down, especially before or after heavy lifting or running.
The quad foam roll can also be modified by placing the foam at the top of the thigh where it meets the hip (hip crease). Holding the foam roll in this position for 5-10 seconds may help to release the quadriceps muscles before rolling down the thigh.
Another useful variation: as you roll down the leg, progressively bend the knee. This action gently stretches the quadriceps muscles as you roll and can result in a more significant stretch.
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