Following up on Tuesday’s post Correcting the Foam Roller Thoracic Extension, I’ve got another short video for you today on how to properly – in my opinion – tackle foam rolling for the quadriceps (quads).
*Edit August 2015: I no longer believe “self myofascial release (SMR)” to be a reasonable term for foam rolling or what is really just self-massage, as I now realise that we aren’t really “releasing” anything, and we’re certainly not affecting the fascia in any structural manner; so I’ve edited those terms out.
The quads comprise four big, strong prime mover muscles (vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis and rectus femoris). These are active in many daily tasks from low level movements such as walking and standing up from sitting, to high amplitude movements like running, jumping and kicking. In the gym, they’ll be involved in many of the major exercises you’re likely to perform, and are primarily worked in lower body exercises that we may categorise as, surprise surprise, “quad dominant” (AKA “knee dominant”) such as most squat variations, split squat and lunge variations, and more bodybuilding specific machine exercises like leg presses and leg extensions.
Basically, it’s a big, powerful muscle group that tends to cop a beating on a regular basis.
As I allude to in the video below, it’s now common practice to include foam rolling and other soft tissue work into a well-structured training program. But I often see people skimp on the foam rolling, paying only lip service to certain areas that are of extra importance.
The quads are one such area, because 1) as I mentioned above, they tend to get beaten up heavily; and 2) any restrictions in the quads – and in particular rectus femoris (rec fem) – will often negatively impact performance, in particular restricting movements that require adequate mobility through the anterior hip, such as split squats and lunge variations.
But I’ve addressed all this in the video, so I’ll stop repeating myself and shut up now.
(And my memory card ran out halfway through, how’s my luck?! I think I saved it okay though). Check it out:
Thoughts, questions, hate mail, or anything I missed? Feel free to drop a comment below. And of course, sharing this article will naturally help you jump the queue in your wait for karmic justice to start paying out.