Foam Rolling: The Quads and Hip Flexors
The quadriceps muscle earns its name from the “four heads” it is composed of: vastus medialis, rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, and vastus lateralis. These four muscles work together to create an extremely powerful knee extensor. The rectus femoris is unique in that it is the only muscle in the quadriceps that originates from the pelvis, specifically the illium. This actually makes the rectus femoris both a knee extensor and a hip flexor. GHD sit-ups, when done properly, make good use of the rectus femoris. The quads are essential for human movement, standing, walking, running, kicking, jumping, squats, lunges, deadlifts, cleans, jerks, and snatches all require the use of the quads.
- To foam roll the quads, start with the foam roller on the ground, perpendicular to your body.
- Position of the front of your thigh on the roller and begin rolling toward your knee.
- Work slowly, going back and forth between the middle of the thigh and the area just above the knee.
- Spend an extra 15-30 seconds working on any hot spots you may encounter.
- To foam roll the hip flexors, start just as you did for the quads but roll up toward your hip.
- Stop just below the bony part of your hip. Again, make sure you spend extra time on the “knotted” up areas.
Foam rolling can be done before or after working out, just make sure you do it at some point in the day. If you have particularly tight quads and you know you’ll see some squats in your workout, try to foam roll prior to your workout. Either way, you’ll soon see improvements in the quality of your movement.