Stretching for Quadriceps Tendinopathy

Stretching exercises that may be used in the rehabilitation of quadriceps tendinopathy.

The muscles in particular that need to be stretched are the Quadriceps group at the front of the thigh. These are made up of Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, Vastus intermedius which start (originate) at the thigh and insert into the Tibia (shin bone) via the kneecap, as well as the Rectus femoris. The Rectus femoris starts at the front of the hip and also inserts via the kneecap.

Testing Flexibility

  • This can be tested by performing Thompson's test.
  • Laying on the back, pull one knee up as high as it will go.
  • The thigh of the free leg should be horizontal. If it rides up, this indicates possible tight hip flexor muscles (Rectus femoris or Iliopsoas).
  • The shin of the free leg should hand vertically. If not then this may indicate tight Quadriceps muscles.

Quad Stretch 1

  • Hold the foot of the leg to be stretched and gently pull up behind. Aim to keep the knees together and pull the leg up straight not twisted.
  • You should feel a stretch at the front of the leg. It should not be painful. In the early acute stages of treatment hold stretches for around 10 seconds. Later on when the inflammation has gone stretches should be held for around 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times and stretch at least 3 times a day.
  • This stretch can also be performed when laying on your front.

Quad Stretch 2

  • Kneel on one knee with a very padded cushion for support. Pull the foot up behind as shown. This stretch will target the Rectus femoris more.
  • If you have any pain on the knee when performing this stretch, avoid it. This stretch places a lot of pressure on the kneecap when kneeling down so it is essential to have plenty of padding for support.
  • Again hold for 10 seconds initially and progress to 30 seconds. repeat the stretch 3-5 times, at least 3 times a day.