The quadriceps, or “quads”, are a group of four muscles located on the front (anterior) of the thigh. The four muscles include the rectus femoris, the vastus lateralis, the vastus medialis, and the vastus intermedialis. All of these muscles attach on their bottom (distal) end to the tibial tuberosity by the patellar ligament. On their top (proximal) end, the vastus medialis and lateralis attach to the back of the femur. The vastus intermadialis attaches to the anterior surface of the femur. The rectus femoris is the only muscle that crosses the hip joint.
All four muscles participate to straighten (extend) the knee joint and support the patella. You might see the quads working, or contracting, in chair pose, warrior I, or standing from the squat position. Great postures to lengthen the quads include frog pose, dancers pose or hero pose.
Common injury to the quad can include various levels of contusion. This occurs when force is hit up against the quad to press it against the femur. If this occurs, an individual may feel symptoms similar to a strain or tear, including sharp immediate pain. Swelling and bruising typically occur depending on the severity of the hit.
Another common injury is petellofemoral joint syndrome. This is thought to be caused by weakness or fatigue of the vastus medialis. Symptoms include front or back knee pain especially when squatting or going down a stair case. Strengthening the vastus medialis is typically part of the recovery process, along with legs up the wall (as always)!
This week you can strengthen your quads in our hustle room with slamballs, mountain climbers, cycling and more! Find length through the poses mentioned above in our flow room. Yoga 4 athletes is where it’s at!
Sign up for classes here.
Includes to HIIT and yoga (in-studio and livestream). 20 consecutive days. Starts the day of purchase.