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> Exercises for quadriceps – 8 exercises for runners

Exercises for quadriceps – 8 exercises for runners

Publish date 27.09.2022

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Exercises for quadriceps – 8 exercises for runners

Thighs are very important for every runner. They need to be strong and fit so that you can fully enjoy your workouts. It is your thighs that allow you to get going, keep up the pace, and run long distances. 

That’s why you should take care of them. And it’s not just about recovery after training (which is very important), but exercises for quadriceps of your thigh. Such exercises not only strengthen the quadriceps but will also take care of good form, and muscle development and prevent unwanted injuries. 

Are you interested? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because in this article you will learn about quadriceps exercises and other important information you should know about these muscles. Let’s get started! 

Quadriceps – anatomy build

The quadriceps muscle of the thigh is located at the front of the lower limb. As the name suggests, it consists of four so-called heads. The quadriceps muscle of the thigh consists of the following muscles:

  • the rectus femoris
  • the vastus lateralis
  • the vastus medialis;
  • the vastus intermedius.

Quadriceps exercises for runners – what are they for?

You may be thinking to yourself, “Why exercise just this muscle? What’s so special about it?” The quadriceps muscle is responsible for many activities, so it is worth taking care of it and exercising it. 

Quadriceps are responsible for:

  • forward leg lift, 
  • shock absorption during jumping, 
  • stabilizing the knee, 
  • straightening the shin, 
  • deceleration of running. 

Why do stretching exercises for the quadriceps?

Such exercises will not only prevent injury and stretch muscles but also: 

  • provide better fitness,
  • better range of motion in the joints, 
  • proper length, 
  • the flexibility of muscle fibers. 
Quadriceps - stretching

Quadriceps workout – what exercises you can do

The exercises I’m going to present to you are primarily for strengthening your muscles. You should set aside time for them once a week. You should perform each quadriceps exercise about 10-15 times in 3 series. 

Remember that you don’t have to do all the exercises. You can choose a few and vary them so that your workouts are not monotonous. However, remember to do a warm-up before starting the quadriceps workout. Around 5-10 minutes is enough. 

Jump squat 

  • If you want to start with easy quadriceps training exercises then you should perform a jump squat. You don’t need a lot of space or additional equipment to perform it, which certainly makes things easier. How to do it? Very simple. 
  • Do a standard squat.
  • Then from the position where your legs are bent dynamically jump up. 
  • Return to the squat and repeat the action.

Jumping up on an elevation

jumping on the box - Quadriceps exercise

When it comes to quadriceps muscle exercises, it not only works the particular part of the body but also other parts of the legs. This is a very simple exercise. You simply climb up on an elevation such as a small table, step, or chair (remember, it must be stable and safe) and descend. 

Keep in mind that the higher the elevation, the more the quadriceps will be worked. This will give better results. You can do the exercise even at home. 

You can also choose a more advanced exercise that is very similar to this one – jumping with both feet on an elevation

To do this: 

  • Stand in front of the given elevation with your legs together. 
  • Jump by bending your legs slightly and making a forward sweep with your arms. 
  • After jumping onto the step, straighten up and jump off it.

Lunge 

Quadriceps training - lunge

This is an excellent exercise not only for the quadriceps but also for the other leg muscles. How to properly do a lunge? 

  • Stand straight. 
  • Take a step forward (with whichever leg) and bend both knees. 
  • Then lift yourself and repeat the exercise. 

You don’t have to stand still at this time. You can slowly march forward. What’s more, to increase the effectiveness of this exercise you can get an extra load, i.e. a handle of the appropriate weight. 

Straightening the bent leg 

You can perform this exercise both standing and sitting. It is a simple exercise, as you just need to lift your knee-bent leg at a right angle and then straighten it. Repeat. 

As with the lunge, you can work with weights on your legs. 

Squats 

When it comes to quadriceps muscle exercises, this one everyone knows very well. You probably won’t even count how many times you’ve performed them in school during gym class. 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Push your hips back by bending your knees. 
  • Do a half squat and return to the starting position.

Want to engage your quadriceps thigh muscles even harder? If so, how about this exercise, but using a barbell? 

You need to do a squat, but with the barbell held on the collarbone in front of the chest. 

Transfer of the body weight 

  • Stand with a wide stance and do a squat so that your thighs are horizontal.
  • Shift your body weight to your right leg and then to your left leg. 
  • Don’t lift yourself out of the squat or pull your feet off the ground. 

Quadriceps workout – stretching exercises 

After the quadriceps training is done, you should spend about 10-15 more minutes stretching your muscles. This will make you feel less pain after your workout and protect you from injury. 

How long to perform a particular exercise?: 20-30 seconds 

How many repetitions?: 2

Standing position

  • Find a place where you can support yourself with one hand – this will help you maintain your balance. 
  • Bend one leg at the knee, and bring your foot as close to your buttocks as possible – to bring your leg even closer help yourself with your hand. 
  • Repeat the exercise for the other leg. (20-30 seconds 2 times on each leg). 

On your knees 

  • Kneel on one leg and also with one hand lean against something to keep your balance. 
  • Grasp the foot of the leg that is resting on the ground with your knee, bend your knee and draw your heel toward your buttock.
  • Moving your torso forward will increase the stretch of the muscle. 

Laying down 

  • Sit on the mat with one leg straight and the other bent at the knee so that it is fully on the ground. 
  • Your elbow should go along your thigh and your foot should be next to your buttock. 
  • Slowly place your torso on the ground, gradually stretching your quadriceps.

What are the symptoms of a strained quadriceps muscle?

  • swelling,
  • pain. 
  • bruising, 
  • loss of strength and ability to move. 
Strained Quadriceps muscle

How to treat a pulled quad?

One of the first and basic treatments is RICE. Ever heard this abbreviation? We’ll explain it to you right away! 

  • R – rest: stop the activity, avoid walking and exercising.
  • I – ice: put ice on the quadriceps to stop the pain and swelling. Put the ice for around 15 minutes every 3-4 hours, during the first 24-48h after the injury. 
  • C – compression: wrap the injured area and prevent it from swelling. The best will be an elastic medical bandage. 
  • E – elevation: raise the hurt part of your body (in this case quadriceps) above your heart. Doing this will reduce pain and swelling.

Although quadriceps training is important, you must remember to exercise other muscles. If you forget to do so, you can lead to muscle imbalance. You must train all parts of the body evenly. This will help you prevent injuries. Therefore, remember to exercise other muscle parts. 

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