I remember when i sat one of the written tests for my Cert III in Personal Training, the ONLY question that i failed on that test was “Name the 4 muscles of the Quadriceps.” . . so i had to redo the WHOLE thing because of that ONE question . .
Since that day i NEVER forget the names of those little suckers.
So let’s break it down . .
The 4 muscles of the Quads are:
The Rectus Femoris is the special one . . Rectus meaning strap . . strap of the femur (quad).
Why so SPECIAL?
Because unlike the other 3 quad heads that originate from the femur, the Rectus Femoris originates on the PELVIS . . it crosses the hip joint.
So its job is to straighten the knee AND act as a hip flexor too.
See in the picture above how the Rectus extends all the way up to that hip joint.
If you place your finger on the lower end of your hip bone, you’ll feel where the Rectus attaches.
It extends ALL the way down to your knee . .
So you can see why it would be responsible for a LOT of knee dysfunction.
HIP FLEXOR PAIN
When we’re squatting, and that knee comes forward, even just a little bit, you’ll find after a few reps that the hip will start to feel like it’s on fire . . that BURNING sensation. . that’s the Rectus pulling off the bone a little bit . . because it’s so freakin’ tight.
And this is the same with any muscle . .
If you have a HUGE load and HUGE tension on a muscle, and you create some kind of interference (say, your knee coming forward) . . the force on both ends of that muscle are going to change and increase DRAMATICALLY . . and one end is going to be pulling a lot more load than the other . . that’s exactly what we DON’T want.
So if you’re experiencing that burn in those hips . . you need to be stretching and mobilizing those quads . . release some of that tension . . fix your form . . bring that butt back and down . . don’t let those knees come forward . .
SMALL CHANGES GO A LONG WAY . .
All that quad wants is a little love . .
TEST FOR TIGHT QUADS
You should be able to touch that heel to butt . . if you can’t it needs some work.
We want to focus on both the rectus & the hip . .
PNF STRETCH 1
PNF STRETCH 2
Contracting for 5 seconds, squeezing the quad of that back leg, release and lean a bit further into it for 10 seconds, repeat until you see no changes or you can’t go any further . . Keep that back straight.
Remember to breathe !!
Doing these stretches before & after training . . if those quads are super tight . . you’ll definitely see a positive change & an increase in performance . . but you HAVE to be consistent . . or else they’re just going to tighten up again the next time you workout.
Let me know how you go !!