Stretches for Sore Thighs
Stretching can help get rid of soreness in your muscles, according to Harvard medical School's Family Health Guide. Soreness in the thighs comes from either the quadriceps muscle or the hamstring muscle. Your quads are located on the front of your thigh while your hamstrings are located on the back of your thigh. If soreness persists, you may have an injury, so consult your doctor or a physical therapist.
Holding Quadriceps Stretch
The holding quad stretch is the most well-known and common stretch for quadriceps muscles, and it can be performed standing up or lying on your side or stomach. Pull on leg behind you up as high as you can toward your buttocks. Pull your leg up until you feel a pull or stretch on the front of your thigh. To increase the stretch, tilt your hips backward, which goes against the pull. Keep your back straight and avoid bending forward, which can work against the stretch.
The Hurdler Stretch
The hurdler stretch is another common quadriceps stretch, but must be done correctly to avoid injury. Do not lie fully back or fully extend or lock your knee during the movement. Start by sitting on your butt with your legs out in front of you. Bring one leg to the side of your hip by bending at the knee and tucking the foot gently beside your hip. Do not lock your knee or force it to the floor, and gently lean back until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.
Hamstring Toe Touches
There are a variety of ways that you can stretch your hamstring muscles, and almost all involve starting with your legs extended and reaching for your toes. This can be done standing or seated and working one or two legs at a time. Start by getting into position and extending your legs fully, then reach as far as you can toward your toes and hold the farthest point for at least 15 seconds.
Partner or Assisted Stretches
Both your quads and your hamstrings can be worked by using a partner. Two of the best assisted stretches are the lying and standing one-leg stretch. To perform the lying version, lie on your back and extend your legs fully, keeping one leg on the floor while bringing the other up. Keep your leg straight and allow your partner to pull it slowly back toward your head as far as you can, holding the farthest point for at least 15 seconds.
To perform the standing version, place your foot on a raised surface that preferably is at least waist high, though you may have to start lower if you are not flexible enough. Keeping your leg straight, extend your head toward your foot as far as you can, and hold at that point for at least 15 seconds.
- Harvard Medical School: The Family Health Guide: Leg Cramps
- Sports Injury Clinic: Stretching Exercises for Quadriceps Strains
- Sports Injury Clinic: Stretching for Tight Hamstrings
- Gage BE, McIlvain NM, Collins CL, Fields SK, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of 6.6 million knee injuries presenting to United States emergency departments from 1999 through 2008. Acad Emerg Med. 2012;19(4):378-85. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01315.x
Based in Harker Heights, Texas, Timothy Onkst has been writing about sports, fitness and health since 2003. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including "Texas Roundball" magazine, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and other websites.