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March 2016 Issue
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Quadriceps stretch

Quadriceps stretch. Photo: Ian Harrison

This quadriceps or thigh stretch might look familiar, though usually done standing. This version can be more relaxing at the end of a long tramp, and allows you to focus on alignment while protecting your knees.

  1. Lie on your belly. Bring your right forearm underneath your forehead
  2. Bend your left knee and reach back with your left hand to grab your foot or ankle. If it’s difficult to reach your foot, wrap a strap around your ankle
  3. Before pulling your foot, squeeze your buttocks, press your pelvis into the ground and think of pointing your knee along the ground directly behind you. You should now be gently squeezing your thigh muscles
  4. To intensify the stretch, gently pull your foot towards your buttocks
  5. If this hurts your bent knee, place a rolled towel in the back of your knee
  6. Stay here for 30 seconds
  7. To release, relax the muscles in your hips, thighs and buttocks. Then let go of your foot and switch to the other side.