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Best Quad Stretches For Runners

As runners we should always remind ourselves that there are numerous essential factors that must be included in a runner’s life to become a good runner, or well-rounded athlete and achieve peak running performance. Aside from actually running, warm-ups, cool downs, strength training, healthy nutrition adequate sleep, physical therapy, and stretching should all be part of our running schedule.

The Benefits Of Stretching

To perform stretching at the appropriate times, dynamic stretching before a workout, and static stretching after a workout can give our body plenty of benefits to stay strong and injury-free. Some of these benefits include:

· Improving range of motion in the joints

· Reducing tension in the muscles

· Decreasing soreness, or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), after workouts

· Decreasing the risk of injury

· Building strength

· Helping avoid muscle cramping

· Improving overall running performance

· Increasing muscle blood flow

For most runners, stretching can be tiresome or unpleasant with many runners’ life and work schedule. Runners tend to squeeze in workouts with just enough time to get ready to rush out the door for work. However, taking those extra five minutes is genuinely worth the effort, as you can see from the long list of benefits for our bodies.

What Are The Quadricep Muscles?

Our quadriceps are a group of four muscles located at the front of our thigh:

1. Vastus lateralis

2. Vastus medialis

3. Vastus intermedius

4. Rectus femoris

These muscles are used every time you straighten or extend your knees.

Our quadriceps are not only essential for running purposes but help us perform almost all of our day-to-day movements like standing, climbing stairs, and walking. Without them, we would literally fall flat on our faces. Quads are a pretty important muscle group.

Strengthening our quads is crucial for being a strong runner. This can be done with simple strength training exercises such as lunges and squats, using our body weight to start, and adding dumbbells or kettlebells as our strength increases. These exercises will contribute to running performance and reduce the risk of injuries, also strengthen .

Tips For Static Stretching After A Run

  • Hold each stretch between 45-60 seconds to obtain optimal benefits. This will give your muscles an adequate amount of time to relax into each position.

  • Try to relax your muscles while holding the stretch. This is easier said than done for sure, yet essential to allow the muscles to stretch properly.

  • Breathe deeply while you stretch. With each exhale, try to gently stretch the muscle a bit more. You’ll feel your muscles relax with each breath.

  • Stretch your muscles gently. After a run we need to focus on mild, not too intense stretches. You should feel mild tension, but not pain. If you feel pain, avoid that specific stretch or stop completely.

Choose one or two of the following quad stretches to perform after each long run or workout. If you do them all, you’ll spend way too much time stretching just one muscle group and won’t have time for the rest. Remember to stretch out all muscle groups used in each particular workout, choosing a stretch or two for each.

9 Quad Stretches For Runners

1. Standing Quad Stretch

1. Stand with your feet at shoulder length apart.

2. Bend your right knee behind you and bring your right heel toward your right glute.

3. Grab your right foot with your right hand.

4. Gently pull your heel upwards and toward your glute. Ensure your knees are kept close together.

5. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

6. Repeat with your left leg.

2. Lying Single-Leg Knee Hugs

1. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended.

2. Bring your right knee toward your chest.

3. Without lifting your head or back off the floor, gently grasp your leg just below the right knee with both hands.

4. Gently pull your bent knee towards your chest.

5. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

6. Repeat with your left leg.

3. Lying Side Quad Stretch

1. Lie down on your right side and prop yourself up with your right elbow, or lower yourself down and support your head with your right hand.

2. Bend your left knee and grasp your left foot with your left hand.

3. Pull your left foot toward your left glute, keeping your knees together.

4. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

5. Repeat on the other side.

4. Kneeling Quad Stretch

1. Begin in a lunge position with your right knee on the ground and left foot forward at a 90-degree angle.

2. Reach back and grab your right foot with your right hand.

3. Pull your right foot toward your right glute. Slightly lean your body forward ensuring your back stays straight.

4. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

5. Repeat on the other side.

5. Double Quad Lying Back Stretch

1. Being in a kneeling position. Lower yourself down so you are sitting on the floor, between your feet.

2. Slowly lower your body back towards the floor behind you until you feel a gentle stretch. Do not go back further than comfortable! Some will be able to lie down completely on the floor behind them, while most of us will feel the stretch with just a slight incline.

3. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

6. Child’s Pose

Some yoga poses provide excellent benefits for runners. Some runners may not all have that fantastic yoga flexibility, but we can get the benefits of these poses just as well.

1. Kneel with toes pointed behind you.

2. Gently sit back until you are on top of your heels.

3. Bring your arms forward, bend at the waist and bring your chest towards the floor.

4. Reach forward with your hands flat on the ground in front of you and your elbows extended.

5. Bring your head down in between your arms while you continue to reach in your arms in front of you as far as you can.

6. Hold the pose for 45-60 seconds.

7. Pigeon Pose

1. Start in the Downward Facing Dog pose, (an upside-down V position).

2. Bring your right knee forward toward your right wrist, keeping your left leg straight behind you.

3. Bend your right knee and gently lower your right glute to the ground.

4. Lower your torso slightly over your right leg keeping your arms extended with elbows slightly bent. If you are flexible, you can bring yourself down to your elbows for a deeper stretch.

5. Hold the pose for 45-60 seconds.

6. Repeat on the other side.

8. Lying Double-Leg Knee Hugs

1. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended.

2. Bring your knees toward your chest.

3. Without lifting your head or back off the floor, gently grasp your legs just below knees with both hands.

4. Gently pull your bent knees towards your chest.

5. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

9. Prone Quad Stretch With Resistance Band

1. Lie on your stomach, facing the floor.

2. Bend your left knee bringing your heel toward your left glute.

3. Wrap a resistance band around your left foot.

4. With both hands, pull your left foot up and toward your glute with the resistance band.

5. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

6. Repeat on the other side.

Appreciate performing 9 of the very best quad stretches for after our run or workout. We should make stretching part of our daily routine, and get all the benefits.

Good Quads Stretches, Muscle Release, Lack of Muscle Soreness or Injuries, Better Nice Runs!


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