Tight Quads? Foam Rolling Can Help
One of the most important muscle groups in your body are the quadriceps; you may not realize it, but they enable you to do most activities, like walking, running, climbing stairs, standing up, and lifting weights. Meanwhile, they also bear the brunt of inactivity when sitting a lot and can become extremely inflexible and stiff.
Foam rolling your quads can dramatically improve your athletic performance and muscle mobility; not to mention making you feel better.
What Are the Quadriceps?
The muscle group referred to as the quadriceps include four main muscles: the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. It also incorporates the IT band, which runs along the outside of your thigh.
All of these muscles work together to help you move and exert power in running, squatting, jumping and climbing stairs. That said, it’s important that they’re functioning well and smoothly.
Susceptibility of the Quads
Because they play such a major role in human anatomy, the quads are also susceptible to injury and fatigue. Athletes know this well: runners often experience IT band syndrome, weightlifters can overtrain their quads with one too many heavy squats, and so on.
Those who work at a desk also may be taxing their quads without even realizing it: sitting at a desk all day can wreak havoc on this muscle group and create severe muscle stiffness that will inhibit flexibility and mobility.
How to Roll Out your Quads
Foam rolling your quads can take you from pain to bliss, from stiffness to mobility. Rolling out this muscle group is quite simple and should be a part of your daily routine:
- You can either roll both quads at once, or one at a time.
- To roll one at a time, lay over the top of your foam roller, with the foam roller perpendicular to your thigh.
- Move your weight forwards and backwards, moving the foam roller over the entire length of the quadriceps muscles.
- Hit the outside of the quad (IT band), top of the thigh (rectus femoris), and inner thigh (vastus medialis) for best results.
- If you come across any particularly rough spots, hold the foam roller there for a few seconds until you feel a release.
Your quads are a wildly important part of your anatomy, so they deserve attention to keep them functioning well no matter what your daily routine looks like. If you’re suffering from muscle stiffness or just want to improve your athletic performance, foam rolling your quads should be at the top of your list.