The quadriceps muscles are powerful stabilisers of the knee and are engaged in many upright activities including running, squatting, stepping, and jumping. As such, this muscle group can become prone to tightness/shortening and if left unchecked or looked after, it may lead to tendonitis in the quadriceps tendon. Regular foam rolling or soft tissue release from an expert, should become part of your warm-up or cool-down routine, especially before or after heavy lifting or running.
Foam rolling the quadriceps is a great way to improve the muscle flexibility. As stated, it can be used as a warm-up or cool- down exercise, or as part of a corrective exercise program for injury prevention or rehabilitation.
Foam Roller Rules
Move foam roller slowly over the desired muscle
When you find a tender spot, work the area a bit longer
Try to move with your breath, the rhythm is relaxing
Don’t foam roll-over injuries or broken skin
If the pain is severe stop; foam rolling can hurt a little but should not hurt a lot
How to Foam Roll Calves
Start by laying on your front and place the roller at the top of your thigh.
Bend the opposite leg and put it to the side away from the roller.
Rest your body weight comfortably through the forearms/shoulders.
Using your arms and opposite leg for support, slowly moving the body weight forward as the roller runs down the thigh. This should be a prolonged, controlled movement. Try counting to 30 when foam rolling from the top to the bottom of the quad.
If a tight spot is felt, hold your position on this point for 5 seconds until the tightness reduces. Then continue to foam roll the quad.
Repeat on the other leg.
When do I know that my calves need foam rolling?
If you're unable to see a soft tissue specialist but you can get your hands on a foam roller it would be advantageous to take some time to focus on the quads. This huge muscle group is integral to sporting performance and day to day activities so maintenance work here to ensure the muscles are firing at their maximum would be advised.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s quadriceps foam rolling blog. Again it was short, snappy and to the point to not have key information lost in the transcript.
Give it a go; and let me know how you get on!
Happy New Year to all!
BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST
MSc Strength and Conditioning