Thigh Stretching

Stretching exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Lying quad stretch, sitting hamstring stretch, partner hamstring stretching.

Standing Quadriceps Stretch

This has to be one of the most recognised and commonly used stretches.

Teaching Points

  • Stand on one leg and pull the other foot up behind your bottom.
  • Keep your knees together and push your hips forwards to increase the stretch.
  • Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Muscles Stretched

  • The quad muscles

Kneeling Quad Stretch

This really stretches the Rectus Femoris muscle as it crosses both the hip and knee joints. However, don't perform this stretch if you have any kind of knee injury, as it is pretty hard on the knee.

Teaching Points

  • Position yourself with one knee on the floor and the other leg out in front with the knee bent and foot flat on the floor.
  • Grasp the ankle of the back leg behind you.
  • Lean forwards from the hips and at the same time pull the ankle towards your buttocks.
  • When you can start to feel a stretch in the front thigh, hold the position.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat at least twice.

Muscles Stretched

  • Rectus Femoris.
  • Iliopsoas.
  • Quad muscles

Laying Quadriceps Stretch

This is a variation of the more common standing quad stretch, which may be easier to perform for some people.

Teaching Points

  • Lay on your front and pull one foot up to meet your buttocks.
  • Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Muscles Stretched

  • The quadricep muscle group

Standing Hamstring Stretch

 The hamstrings are probably the most commonly tight muscles and this can contribute towards lower back pain.

Teaching Points

  • Stand with one leg just in front of the other.
  • Bend the back knee and rest your weight on the bent knee.
  • Tilt the hips forwards as if sticking your bum in the air!
  • Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Muscles Stretched

  • The hamstring muscle group

Sitting Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are probably the most commonly tight muscles and this can contribute towards lower back pain.

Teaching Points

  • Sit on the floor with both legs straight.
  • Keep your back straight as you lean forwards through the hips.
  • Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Muscles Stretched

  • The hamstring muscles

Partner Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are probably the most commonly tight muscles and this can contribute towards lower back pain.

Teaching Points

  • Lay on your back.
  • Lift one leg off the floor, keeping the knee straight.
  • Get your partner to push it higher until you feel a stretch.
  • Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Muscles Stretched

  • Hamstring muscles