Kneeling Quad Stretch
Proper stretching is crucial before participating in any cold weather activities. This winter-sports stretch will help prevent injury
Source: Best Health magazine, November/December 2013; Illustration by Wendy Ding
Winter sport-related injuries are common. ‘Downhill skiers or boarders hurt themselves in falls, and cross-country skiers may develop chronic soreness due to the repetitive nature of the movement,’ says Peter Levidis, athletic therapist at S.P.O.R.T. Specialists Inc. in Dorval, Que. ‘The cold is also a factor and warrants a thorough warm-up.’
Proper stretching can help, too. Levidis likes this kneeling quad exercise’which, while stretching the quads (that large muscle group on the front of your thigh), can also be part of a strength-training routine. ‘This works the eccentric component [the lowering phase] of the quads, which ‘is important to prevent injuries from muscle pulls.’ Bonus: It’s also an ab-strengthening move.
Balancing on your knees and maintaining a tight core, cross arms in front of you. Inhale, clench the glutes, and as you exhale, slowly lean backwards until you feel your quads contract and pull. Hold for two breaths, then return to start; do this 10 times. For strength training, do three or four sets of 10 to really challenge the body.
This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!