• T
  • H
  • M
  • A Progression of Quad Stretches
    both Without Hip Flexor Stretches and With Them

    quad stretches, easy baradvajasana side bending yoga pose, triang muka eka pada paschimotanasana prep, recllining half hero, reclining half hero quad stretch variation, hero pose, bent back hero, reclining hero pose, lunging quad stretch, one leg frog pose quad stretch, frog pose quad stretch

    The quadriceps are affected by the hip joint. In part this is because of the rectus femoris, but it may also be due to other connective tissue connections which aren't mentioned in a lot of simple anatomy texts.

    To take the hip joint out of the equation when stretching the quads, bend the hips forwards.

    The simplest way to so this is to sit in a kneeling position.

    Quad Stretching without Hip Flexor Stretching

    Half Kneeling Gentle Quadriceps Stretch

    A simple way to stretch one quad at a time is to have one knee in hero position. In hero position you sit with your butt to the inside of the heel. The other knee is bent with the foot against the inside of the hero leg.

    Have the butt of your non-hero leg on the floor.

    Lean to the non-hero side. To stretch the quadriceps in this position slowly sit upright so that the weight of your body pushes down on your hero leg buttock. Then slowly relax.

    To add more weight to this quadriceps stretch do a side bend towads the hero leg side. To add more weight, reach one arm, and then the other arm to the side.

    For leverage you can press your other knee into the floor.

    Move slowly and stop at any point you feel knee pain. If you experience knee pain first try pressing the toes of your hero leg into the floor.

    easy bharadvajasana, hero pose variationeasy bharadvajasana side bend quad stretch front vieweasy bharadvajasana side bend quad stretch back view

    Half Hero Pose

    Another Quad stretch is half hero pose. This is a variation of recling hero or supta virasana.

    In half hero pose, one leg is straight. The other is folded back at the knee with the shin to the outside of the thigh and the top of the foot on the floor.

    half hero yoga pose upright quad stretchhalf hero yoga pose upright quad stretch

    If you are new to these types of kneeling stretches, focus first on sitting upright in this pose.

    Gradually lengthen your spine upwards. Interlace yoru fingers and press your palms up to the ceiling. Then slowly relax. As you lengthen use your body weight to gently push your hip on the hero leg side down. Then gently relax.

    Once you've done both sides you can then work on Full Hero Pose.

    Hero Pose

    In this variation of hero pose, simply sit upright.

    If your butt isn't touching the floor then you can work towards that in the same way as in the kneeling variation above. Lean forwards a little, then slowly sit upright to help your hips sink down. Lean forwards again and repeat.

    Another way to gently add weight and reduce it is to use your arms. Press your hands down into the floor initially, then gently relax your arms and lift them to add weight to the quad stretch. Then to relax the stretch press your hands back down into the floor.

    quad stretching yoga poses, hero pose upright

    If your butt is only a few inches off of the floor then you can try holding the position. Slowly lengthen your spine and then relax your spine. As you lengthen your spine press your toes down. Relax your toes as you relax your spine.

    Adding The Hip Flexors to Your Quad Stretches

    The next series of quad stretches adds the hip flexors to the stretch.

    This makes the stretch slightly deeper. For those interested in meridian stretching, this stretches the stomach meridian along the front of the hip, the front of the thigh and the front of the knee. And if you make the toes active it can also stretch the stomach meridian along the top of the foot.

    Reclining Half Hero Pose

    Once you can get your butt to the floor (or a few inches away from the floor) in either hero pose or half hero, you can try reclining half hero pose.

    As with getting your butt to your heels and then to the floor, work towards this quad stretch gradually.

    Start with your hands behind you. Then sink to your elbows.

    You could also try to get the crown of your head to the floor with your spine bent backwards. From there you can then work on getting the back of your ribcage to the floor.

    Work on reaching both legs forwards. Focus on pushing the knees forwards away from the pelvis.

    And here again press the toes of the hero foot into the floor.

    You may find that the psoas pulls on your lumbar spine. Focus your awareness on your psoas. You may find that you can get it to relax.

    Alternatively, focus on feeling your lumbar spine.

    Gradually work at pulling the back of your ribcage away from your pelvis. You can reach your arms back also.

    half hero yoga pose upright quad stretchhalf hero pose, reclining

    Half Hero Pose Quad Stretch Variations

    half hero yoga pose reclinging quad stretchhalf hero yoga pose reclinging quad stretch

    For a change in this quad stretch, bend your other knee, place the foot on the floor and lift the pelvis. Continue to push your hero knee into the floor. Work at keeping your pelvis level from left to right.

    half hero yoga pose reclinging quad stretch

    For an even more sensational yoga quad stretch, hug the lifted knee to the chest.

    It may be next to impossible, but try to hug the knee to the chest with the knee straight. I cheat and prop one elbow on the floor to do this. I also have experimented with starting with the leg out to the side and then lifting it.

    Quad Stretch Using The Wall

    A similiar quad stretch involves using the wall. This offers the advantage that you aren't subject to gravity. Instead you provide the stretching power to stretch your quadriceps.

    Start in a lunging position with the back knee against the wall and the shin of that foot up the wall. You can use a folded up mat or towel beneath your knee and even between your foot and the wall.

    To stretch the quad in this position use your front leg to push your pelvis back, towards the wall.

    As you do so, lengthen your spine upwards.

    You can push your hands against your knee or reach them, one at a time, upwards, against the wall.

    Try to position your foot so that you can get your pelvis to the wall. Note how in the second picture my lifted foot is to the outside of my buttock in hero position.

    A variation is to place your elbows on the floor. Focus on sinking your hips. At the same time press your foot into the wall.

    Twisting Low Lunging Quad Stretch

    For this next combined hip flexor quad stretch you might want to start off with a low lunge.

    low lunge with elbows straight, low lunge, low lunge with back knee on floor

    In low lunge focus on sinking the pelvis down.

    Note, if your knee is uncomfortable then place towel under your knee or fold up your matt for comfort.

    Bend your back knee and grab your ankle with your front leg hand. (Use a towel or folded over yoga mat under your back knee.) To make it easier to grab your ankle, lift your pelvis.

    Start with your back leg arm straight.

    Slowly sink your pelvis down while pulling the foot forwards with your arm. Turn your ribcage towards your front leg.

    To deepen the stretch rest your back leg elbow on the floor. Again, sink your pelvis, pull the foot forwards. Turn towards your front leg.

    (I forgot to mention. Have some tissues near by.)

    lunging and twising quad stretch, yoga poselunging and twising quad stretch, yoga pose, elbow on the floor

    If you get knee pain in this position, try activating the foot and ankle of the back leg. Make the foot and ankle feel strong.

    For extra bonus points, lengthen your spine. Lengthen your neck.

    Reclining Hero Pose

    To stretch the quads on both legs at the same time, and the hip flexors also, you can work towards reclining hero pose.

    back bending yoga poses, stretching the front of the hips, quad stretches, reclining hero pose

    Frog Pose Quad Stretch

    A slightly more challenging stretch for the quads that also exercises the arm is frog stretch.

    frog pose, belly down yoga pose, quad stretching yoga pose, arm strengthening yoga pose

    When doing this pose one leg at a time, use your supporting arm to press your ribcage higher. If you can get your fingers to point forwards (the hand that is on the foot), then press your foot upwards and your hand downwards at the same time. Resist the stretch. Then relax the quad and let your hand push your foot down beside your hip.

    The hand action is like you are doing a push up or cobra pose. As you push down with your hand try to lift your chest up.

    You can also do both legs at the same time in this pose.

    frog pose, yoga pose, quad stretch, arm strengthning

    Use your spinal erectors to bend your spine backwards. You may find it helps at first to push your feet upwards against your hands. You can then use your arms to lift your ribcage. From there, with ribcage lifted, then gradually reduce leg tension and use your arms to push your feet down towards the outside of the hips.

    Balancing on One Leg Quad Stretch

    For fun you can combine quad stretching, hip stretching and balance in this balancing one legged quad stretch that also stretches the hamstrings. It's also a possible substitute for ardha badda padmasana.

    You could start with the bend knee down. Then gradually lift the knee so that you add a hip flexor stretch to the quad stretch.

    ardha badda padmasana substitute, quad stretch, balancing on one leg quad stretchardha badda padmasana substitute, quad stretch, balancing on one leg quad stretch

    Return to Home Page

    Return to Yoga Stretches from Quad Stretches

    Improve Strength and Flexibility

    What's New?

    Stability in Yoga Poses

    Make your yoga poses less wobbly with less effort. Grounding and centering are two techniques for creating stability in yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Stability in Yoga Poses"

    Arm Supported Yoga Poses

    Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.

    Continue reading "Arm Supported Yoga Poses"

    Joint Pain Yoga

    Rather than fighting through joint pain here is an overview of the approach that I've used to help alleviate hip pain, knee pain or shoulder joint pain while doing yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Joint Pain Yoga"

    Feeling Your Center of Gravity

    Make balancing easier. Use pressure sensitivity to feel your center of gravity.

    Continue reading "Feeling Your Center of Gravity"

    How to do Squats

    A yoga approach to how to do squats including how to stay balanced, and avoiding knee or hip pain even while going all the way down.

    Continue reading "How to do Squats"

    Camel Yoga Pose

    Camel Yoga Pose or ustrasana is a kneeling pose that can be used to stretch the hip flexors. One key action that may help in getting your pelvis forwards more is pushing your hands forwards, either against your feet or against the floor.

    Continue reading "Camel Yoga Pose"

    Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability

    The transverse abdominis can have an affect on sacroiliac joint stability as well as stability of the lumbar spine and the T12/L1 junction.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability"

    Fluid Tensegrity Joint Anatomy

    Fluid tensegrity joint anatomy looks at the tendency of the body to maintain space within the joints. The question is, how is this space maintained?

    Continue reading "Fluid Tensegrity Joint Anatomy"

    Why Improve Body Awareness

    Why improve body awareness? So that you can use your body more effectively and fix problems yourself when they arise.

    Continue reading "Why Improve Body Awareness"


    How is tensegrity maintained at the joints even as the body adopts non-tensegrity postures or movements?

    Continue reading "Tensegrity"

    Being Present

    Why being present is the oppositve of thinking and how to utilize both modes effecively.

    Continue reading "Being Present"

    Pigeon Yoga Pose

    Pigeon yoga pose variations include lifting the front hip and resting it on the floor. Learn how to activate the front hip in either variation for better hip control and more effective stretching.

    Continue reading "Pigeon Yoga Pose"

    Creating Tensegrity In Yoga Poses

    Creating tensegrity in yoga poses. What is tensegrity, why should we aim to achieve it when doing yoga or any other activity where mindfullness is required?

    Continue reading "Creating Tensegrity In Yoga Poses"

    Obturator Externus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers

    Obturator externus anatomy for yoga teachers. If you have hip pain in forward bends and your hip feels weak, obturator externus may be the culprit.

    Continue reading "Obturator Externus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers"

    Yoga Stretches for Tight Hamstrings

    Yoga stretches for tight hamstrings. Learn to feel when your legs are active and when they are relaxed so that you can gradually stretch tight hamstrings.

    Continue reading "Yoga Stretches for Tight Hamstrings"

    Adding Bigness to Your Yoga Poses

    An experienced yogi's yoga pose has a sense of bigness. How do you as a beginner add bigness to your yoga poses?

    Continue reading "Adding Bigness to Your Yoga Poses"

    Basic Yoga Sequence Part 1

    Basic yoga sequence for flexibility. Includes hip, hamstring, quad stretches and neck stretches and recovery exercises.

    Continue reading "Basic Yoga Sequence Part 1"

    Back Strengthening Yoga Poses

    Back strengthening yoga poses can be used to strengthen the back of the body including hamstrings, glutes and both the lower and upper back.

    Continue reading "Back Strengthening Yoga Poses"

    Handstand Intro 6

    A look at getting your feet off of the wall and balancing in handstand plus tips for greater arm stability.

    Continue reading "Handstand Intro 6"

    Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength

    Yoga pose sequences for flexibility and strength. These sequences can be used for improving hip and shoulder flexibility and strength.

    Continue reading "Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength"

    Dealing with Pain and Poor Posture

    Basic Awareness


    Actions and Exercises

    Basic Principles for Yoga Poses