Quadriceps or Quads are the four muscles that surround the thigh bone, Femur. It is the longest, heaviest and strongest bone accounting for a quarter of your height! These muscles are critical for walking, running, jumping and squatting.
From a person who does a desk job to the one who is an athlete, exercising quads is very essential. To overcome the lack of exercise for this part of the body in the present day sedentary lifestyle, you can bank upon yoga. If you are an athlete or cyclist, doing yoga to relax the tired thighs will work for you. Stretching the legs before playing sports like cricket, hockey, football or badminton prevents tight quads, cramps and injury too. Here are a few yoga poses to flex and relax your quadriceps:
Badhakonasana or Butterfly pose strengthens and lengthens the quads. It extends the leg out to either side of you. It tones the hamstring and quadriceps of the folded leg. Also, it opens up your hip and is arguably the best exercise for pregnant women. After doing this posture, you can relax in Vajrasana which is a thigh strengthener as well.
Doing Veerbhadrasana or Warrior pose helps you to get strong quads. By working the quadriceps, it stabilizes your knees. It adds strength to the hamstring in your legs. In addition to these, it opens up your chest.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward facing dog pose provides an active stretch for your thighs. It is a transitional pose as well as a resting pose performed during Sun salutation. It will engage your quads and give it a decent stretch. It builds bone density and increases blood circulation in your legs. You can do a self assessment of your overall body fitness depending upon the comfort and duration up to which you can stay in this pose.
Utkatasana or Chair pose tones your quads. It also strengthens the ankles, calves and hip. It is good for your spine and abdominal organs too. Utkatasana means fierce posture. After flexing your muscles intensely in this pose, you may relax them by resting in Viparita Karani. This posture is known to provide soothing comfort. You can also do squatting to exercise for your thighs. Chair pose acts as a transitional posture while doing squats.
Trikonasana or Triangle pose tones the ligaments in your leg and works your quads. It is done to overcome the ill-effects of wrong posture. The pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, hips and groin as well. It strengthens your spine and is known to improve digestion too.
Dhanurasana or Bow pose gives a good stretch to your quadriceps. The effect of doing this posture is that you get toned legs and arms. It strengthens and lengthens the quads. It opens up the hips as well.
Natarajasana or the Lying down body twist gives a good stretch to your quads. It increases blood circulation in the thighs and strengthens the same. Also, it releases tension in your leg and helps to prevent niggles.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana or the Equestrian pose stretches all the four muscles of thighs. It is one of the poses of Sun salutation. It increases the stability and flexibility of legs. Additionally, it works on the mobility of hips and opens the groin.
These yoga poses can be practiced by beginners as well advanced level yoga enthusiasts. Practicing these poses regularly will strengthen your quads and protect them from injuries. However, if you’ve had a recent injury in the hip, ankle or knee region, please seek medical advice before practicing any of these poses.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]