The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Hip and Quadriceps Stretch Lying Down

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - The front of the leg and hip are helpful places to stretch. Here is another nice stretch for the front of your hip and thigh.

People often "do" a quadriceps stretch without getting a stretch. They keep the front of their hip bent forward at the crease where it meets the body, meaning the area is being shortened not stretched. This is opposite of the point of the stretch. To get the stretch and the idea of lengthening and extending at the hip:

  1. Lie on one side with both knees bent in front of you. It is ok to round your body a bit. The spine is not rounding under compression. It's a nice stretch. Prop your head comfortably.
  2. Keep the bottom knee still bent in front of your body.
  3. Bring the upper leg back, behind your body.
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Notice different stretch with raised and lowered top knee placement. Stretch the other leg too.

Prevent these reasons the top knee may hurt:

  • Don't pull back so hard that it pulls painfully at the knee.
  • Tight quads can feel like knee pain when they tightly pull where they attach at the knee. It is not a problem with the knee, but with tight thigh and quadriceps muscles. Tight people may feel sharp pulling or yanking around the knee when trying to put weight on a knee stretched behind them, as when ruining or lunging. The problem is tightness, so stretch gently and intelligently. The idea is to stretch the quads so you don't hurt, not yank so that you do.
  • Check that you are not twisting at the knee - generally you can tell this if your foot is facing a different direction than the front of your knee. One commonly missed reason for knee pain felt during running and walking is twisted stretching, including yoga poses like lotus and hero if you don't turn from the hip, and others, covered in Knee Pain When Running - Check Your Yoga.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.