If you’ve ever pulled or stained a quadriceps muscle you know it can be painful. The more painful it is the more the damage of course. It may simply be that the muslce is overstretched, or that the muslce is partially or completely torn.
Many sports can cause this type of pull or injury, that is any exercise that uses the quadriceps. But the more common ones are sprinting and more explosive types of exercises that are quad dominant.
The most common reason is a muscular imbalance, the hamstrings being stronger than the quadriceps in this case. Runners who don’t sprint or who don’t strengthen their quadriceps are pretty susceptible because running uses the hamstrings more than the quadriceps.
The best thing to do after an injury is to rest and also to ice the area. You should also perform moderate stretching and some strengthening exercises.
Stretch the muscle with some very gentle stretches after you ice it. Don’t over due it. But this is important so that your muscle doesn’t heal in a contracted or shorter length.
Lie on your side and and gently pull your foot toward your buttocks and hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this several times throughout the day.
Some Quadriceps Strengthening exercises include, Squats, Lunges, Leg Presses and Leg extensions. Do a few sets with just your body-weight or very light weight. A couple of sets of 12 to 15 reps is more than enough.
Once the muscle is healed make sure you continue to build your quad strength and always stretch before and after your workouts. Tight muscles are more prone to injury.