Yoga Poses That Stretch Your Quads

Your quadriceps are the group of four large muscles that make up the front of your thigh. These muscles tend to be tight in athletes, especially runners and cyclists. The following yoga poses offer a variety of ways to stretch them.


Crescent Lunge: Anjaneyasana


Watch Now: How to Do a Crescent Lunge

​Crescent lunge is a good pose for beginners since you can easily modify it depending on your flexibility. Backing off the depth of the front knee will give you a less intense stretch. You can also go the other way by bending your back knee and pulling your foot towards your butt.​


Hero Pose: Virasana


Watch Now: How to Meditate With Hero Pose

A lot of yoga quad stretches also incorporate balance and/or back-bending, but not hero pose. The goal here is to sit and breathe into the stretch and through any sensations you experience.

If you need to modify this pose to make it less intense, sit your butt up on a blanket, block, or bolster. On the other hand, if you're not feeling much in an upright position, you can deepen the stretch by reclining.


Pigeon Pose: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana


Watch Now: How to Stretch Your Hips with Pigeon Pose

​Pigeon pose is one of the preparatory poses for full pigeon, which requires some openness in the quads in addition to a flexible back.

For purposes of the thigh stretch, don't worry if you can't clasp your hands overhead. Just focus on drawing your back heel toward your butt. There is always the option to use props like a block or a blanket under your hip, to make this pose more accessible.


Sugarcane Pose: Ardha Chandra Chapasana


Watch Now: Challenge Your Core with Sugarcane Pose

For those who like to multitask, you can stretch the hamstrings on your standing leg and the quads on your lifted leg by taking half moon into sugarcane pose. You can even get a little back-bend in there while you're at it.


King Dancer: Natarajasana


Watch Now: Strengthen Your Balance with Dancer Pose

You can keep the quad stretch from sugarcane (above) going by moving directly into king dancer. If that's not enough of a challenge, you can work up to the full version of this pose, in which you hold onto your foot with both arms raised over your head, all while balancing on one leg. It's probably one of the toughest poses you can try.


Camel Pose: Ustrasana


Watch Now: How to Stretch with Camel Pose

Now you are moving into the back-bending poses. Since your focus here is the quads, modify whenever necessary to make the back-bend less intense. In camel, for instance, you can use blocks under your hands instead of bringing them to your heels. You can also place your hands on your lower back or sacrum.​


Bow Pose: Dhanurasana


Watch Now: How to Do a Bow Pose

In bow pose, your grasp on your feet allows you to pull yourself into a deeper backbend. It also makes for a great thigh stretch.

Experiment here between flexing the feet and pointing the toes. Each gives a slightly different stretch, as will changing your grip from the outside to the inside of your feet.


Little Thunderbolt Pose: Laghu Vajrasana

Little Thunderbolt Pose

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Disclaimer: This is the most advanced quad stretch in this article, so only attempt it once you've taken ample time to practice all the previously mentioned postures. Taking camel pose (above) to its outer limits brings you into laghu vajrasana, or little thunderbolt pose. Bringing your head to the floor results in a deep backbend and also requires very open quadriceps.

This is definitely an advanced posture, so don't worry if it doesn't seem in the realm of possibility right now. Working on camel pose will offer the same stretch with less intensity.

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