• T
  • H
  • M
  • Working Towards Lying Quadriceps Stretch
    One Leg at a Time

    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch, one leg at a time. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    To work toward a one legged lying quadriceps stretch you can start with a one legged kneeling position. Bend the other knee and place the foot against the inner thigh of the kneeling leg.

    If you have tight quadriceps, you may find that you have to lean away from your kneeling leg.

    To stretch your quadriceps in this position, begin by using your arm to push yourself gradually upright. As you do so focus on activating the quadriceps or knee of your kneeling leg (make the knee feel "strong"). You could also focus on activating the hamstrings.

    This is a continuation of the kneeling quadriceps stretch.

    Why Activate the Quadriceps While Stretching Them?

    Activating the quadriceps while stretching it might seem like you are resisting the quadriceps stretch. But muscle tissue can lengthen while active (it just has to be activating with less force than the force it is working against). In either case, notice the feeling in the knee and notice whether or not activating the quadriceps or knee or hamstrings helps you to come comfortably more upright.

    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch with a modified single leg kneelng position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch with a modified single leg kneelng position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch with a modified single leg kneelng position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Note that to push yourself upright you can use your hand and arm as mentioned. Or you can press your other knee down into the floor.

    Once you can get comfortably upright with this leg position you can stretch the quadriceps stretch further by sinking your kneeling leg hip to the floor. To do this you can add weight to the stretch by bending your spine towards to your kneeling leg side. Initially start with your hand on the floor to help support your body.

    Why Activate and Relax the Quadriceps?

    Focus on activating your knee or quadriceps and then relaxing. The activation is to create stability in the knee joint. Practicing activating and relaxing develops control and also awareness, the ability to feel your quadriceps and knee joint.

    Repeat a few times, and if comfortable with the action then see if you can relax your supporting arm during the activation phase. Try to relax the arm completely while your quadriceps is engaged, then if you feel comfortable, lift your hand off of the floor. Then, put hand back down (re-support your body using it) before relaxing your leg.

    Once comfortable with this then see if you can relax your leg while keeping the arm lifted.

    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch with a modified single leg kneelng position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch with a modified single leg kneelng position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Working towards a lying quadriceps stretch with a modified single leg kneelng position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Another option that strengthens the knee and/or quadricep is to reach one arm and then both arms to the side while keeping your leg active. This strengthens the quadriceps because it has to work against more weight, the weight of your arms.

    If the hip on your kneeling leg side is closer to the floor or, better yet, touching the floor, then you are ready for the lying quadriceps stretch.

    Getting into the Lying Quadriceps Stretch

    The lying quadriceps stretch can be done one leg at a time. To begin with, have one leg in the kneeling position and the other leg straight. If in this position you find that your kneeling leg hip lifts, then here again you can use your hand to support yourself initially when leaning away from the kneeling leg. Then use it to help push you upright. Then, as before, try using your non-kneeling leg to get you (and keep you) upright. To work towards this, practice pushing down with the straight knee foot for support. Press down and upright yourself, and then relax.

    Stretching the quadriceps with one leg kneeling and the other leg straight. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Stretching the quadriceps with one leg kneeling and the other leg straight. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Stretching the quadriceps with one leg kneeling and the other leg straight. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Place your hands on the floor behind you to lie down. If you find your quadriceps is extremely tight experiment with activating it and relaxing it. Again, a simple technique is to push down with the shin or foot of the kneeling leg. Make it feel as if you are trying to come out of the kneeling position. While doing this you may find it helps to move your bent knee outwards or inwards slightly. See if you can find a position where your knee and quadriceps both feel comfortable.

    Avoiding Low Back Discomfort While Stretching Your Quadriceps

    As you lie back you may find that your lower back feels like it is being pulled forwards. One action to try to relieve this is to work at drawing your back ribs away from the back of your pelvis, as if to lengthen your lower back. Another option is to engage your abs. Try to create a line of tension between the front of your ribcage and the front of your pelvis. Or imagine beginning a straight legged sit up.

    You might also find it helpful to reach through both knees, as if trying to push them away from your hip sockets.

    Lying back on the elbows with one leg kneeling and the other leg straight for a lying quadriceps stretch. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Lying back with one leg kneeling and the other leg straight for a lying quadriceps stretch. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    After some practice you may find that you can go back on to your elbows. From there you can work at getting the top of your head to the floor in which case you can try pressing it into the floor in such a way that your head and neck helps to support the weight of your upper body. You may then find that you can move your arms in such a way as to gradually lower the back of your ribcage to the floor.

    Generally, the lower you go, the easier it is to experience lumbar spine discomfort. To that end try activating the quadriceps, or reaching through the knees and/or activating the abs. Experiment till you find a solution that doesn't cause your lower back to feel like it is going to be pulled apart. Failing that there are other positions for stretching your quadriceps.

    A lying quadriceps stretch variation, hugging one knee to the chest while the other leg is in a kneeling position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
    A lying quadriceps stretch variation, hugging one knee to the chest while the other leg is in a kneeling position. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    A Deeper Lying Quadriceps Stretch

    If you can do the lying quadriceps stretch successfully and comfortably, a few options for increasing the stretch as follows. Bend the straight knee and place the foot on the floor. Use this leg to lift your hips a little. Work at keeping the kneeling leg knee on the floor as you do so. From here a deeper quadriceps stretch involves hugging the knee of the non-stretched leg to the chest. To take the stretch even further, try doing this with the knee straight.

    Return to Home Page from Lying Quadriceps Stretch

    Return to Quadriceps Stretching Poses


    Gumroad, Yoga for your shoulders, available in epub, pdf and mobi. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Gumroad, Yoga for your shoulders, available in epub, pdf and mobi. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Improving Flexibility

    Leg Stretches

    Hip Stretches

    Psoas Stretching

    Back Flexibility

    Shoulder and Arm Stretches

    More Stretches

    Relaxed Meridian Stretching

    More On Flexibility and Stretching

    What's New?

    An Exercises for Knee Stability, The Seated Get Up

    The seated get up is a way of getting into the one legged squat from a seated position. Even if you aren't interested in one leg squats this video does include tips on stabilizing the knees (at about the 5 minute mark.) Usual muscle activations for knee stability might include the quads, the hamstrings or any of the glutes. This looks at another set of muscles all together. If you like the video or find it helpful, please do share it! Thanks!

    Continue reading "An Exercises for Knee Stability, The Seated Get Up"

    Deep Squats

    Some tips for learning how to do deep squats (without weight). The first tip is on how to stay balanced while squatting.

    Continue reading "Deep Squats"

    Learning The Body Weight Squat

    How do you learn the body weight safely? How do you work towards this pose even if you aren't sure if you are capable of doing it.

    Continue reading "Learning The Body Weight Squat"

    Basic Yoga Poses

    Basic yoga poses: standing, sitting, arm balances, binds, twists, inversions, back bending, front bends.

    Continue reading "Basic Yoga Poses"

    Scapular Awareness

    Scapular stabilization becomes a little bit harder when working agains the weight of the body. It can be easier to learn if you gradually increase the amount of body weight the scapular stabilizer muscles are working againsts..

    Continue reading "Scapular Awareness"

    Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises

    Some hip flexor strengthening exercises.

    Continue reading "Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises"

    Arm Strengthening Exercises

    These yoga poses can be used as arm strengthening exercises.

    Continue reading "Arm Strengthening Exercises"

    Leg Strengthening Exercises

    Turn yoga poses into leg strengthening exercises using floor pressing actions, leverage and friction.

    Continue reading "Leg Strengthening Exercises"

    Hip Strengthening Exercises

    One way of finding and fixing hip problems is to do standing hip strengthening exercises while balancing on one leg.

    Continue reading "Hip Strengthening Exercises"

    Knee Anatomy for Yoga Teachers

    Knee anatomy for yoga teachers looks at the bones and muscles that comprise the back of the knee in simple terms.

    Continue reading "Knee Anatomy for Yoga Teachers"

    Kneeling Quadriceps Stretch

    Working towards a kneeling quadriceps stretch you first need to be able to kneel. If you have difficulty kneeling, you may find it helps to activate your quadriceps.

    Continue reading "Kneeling Quadriceps Stretch"

    Quadriceps Stretching Yoga Poses

    When doing quadriceps stretching it may help to activate and then relax your quadriceps in these standing, lunging, pigeon and supine yoga pose variations.

    Continue reading "Quadriceps Stretching Yoga Poses"

    Lying Quadriceps Stretch

    Some exercises and yoga poses for working towards a lying quadriceps stretch one leg at a time.

    Continue reading "Lying Quadriceps Stretch"

    Benefits of The Dance of Shiva

    What are the benefits of the Dance of Shiva? Arm strength and balance, learning to learn and improving creativity.

    Continue reading "Benefits of The Dance of Shiva"

    Yoga Routine Video for Strengthening Arms and Legs Via Friction and Pressure

    This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.

    Continue reading "Yoga Routine Video for Strengthening Arms and Legs Via Friction and Pressure"

    Transverse Abdominis Exercises

    The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominis Exercises"

    Knee Strengthening Exercises

    To improve the resiliency of your knees it can help to exercise them in a variety of positions. The following yoga poses can be used as knee strengthening exercises. The trick is to activate your knees while doing them.

    Continue reading "Knee Strengthening Exercises"

    Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors

    Learn to consciously control your quads and hip flexors with Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors. This downloadable video course teaches you how to feel and activate your quadriceps (the vastus muscles) as well as the rectus femoris, tensor fascae latae and sartorius muscles.

    Continue reading "Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors"

    Calf Stretches

    For any calf stretch you have to bend your ankle forwards to stretch the soleus and/or gastrocnemius. How you bend the ankle forwards can make the stretch more or less effective.

    Continue reading "Calf Stretches"

    Yoga for Flexibility

    Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.

    Continue reading "Yoga for Flexibility"