We often receive questions about a specific stretch to help with either a sore muscle or a problem area. However, a stretch is not always the answer to your problem. While proper stretching can feel really good and help with flexibility, it may not be the cause of the problem you are facing.
My first piece of advice is to always talk to a coach about what the exact issue is. Simply asking about what a stretch for your quad would be, does not paint a full picture of what is going on. If possible, talking face to face is best because we can discuss in more detail and try things out. We want to know things like, was there a certain incident that occurred or has this been a slow-moving issue? What movements bother the area? How long has this been an issue? Is this a chronic or an acute issue? What have you tried before?
Often times when you feel some kind of tightness, pinching, soreness etc. this may be actually an alignment problem, movement quality issue, mobility restriction, or your body is in an overall tensed state. Most of these problems will not be solved by stretching and could even cause more harm than good by putting your body into a further tensed state. The most important thing we can do when you encounter these sort of sensations is to bring your body back down into a parasympathetic state, meaning we slow your heart rate down, return back to diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) and therefore relaxing the muscles of the body overall.
The following is a mobility complex I have put together for individuals who experience low back problems. This is one of the most common issues I have encountered and have had a lot of experience with it myself.
Low Back Mobility Complex
- Easy Breathing (Crocodile, Supine, Child’s Pose)
- Nods and Turns (Supine, On Elbows, Commando, or Quadruped)
- Soft Rolling- Upper body and Lower Body
- Quadruped Rocking
- Wide Stance Commando Rocking
- Tall Kneeling Wall Hip Extension or ½ Kneeling Wall Hip Extension
- 5sec. Holds 4x or 3ea.
- Slow Tempo Deadbugs
- 4-6ea. 3-0-3 Tempo
- Single Leg Glute Bridge
- 8ea. 2s. Holds
- Prone Cobras (Only go to 70% Stretch)
- 8-10x. 2s. Holds
- Cat Cows
- 8-10x 2s. Holds
You can see there really is no stretching (besides the small stretch you might feel in the wall hip extensions). The most important part of this is to breathe! Breathing, specifically diaphragmatically will be the best thing you can do to relax your muscles overall and bring your body back from a threatened state. The rest of these drills focus on slower, more relaxed movements as well as alignment and activation drills that work to reset any movement quality issues.
As stated before, the best thing you can do for any kind of soreness, pinching, tightness, pain, etc. is to talk with you coach and discuss more in detail what is going on so you can figure out a solution together!