Quadriceps Stretch Side Lying

Side Laying Quadriceps Stretch

What muscles does theside laying quadriceps stretch target?

Quadriceps Group
Rectus Femoris

How to performstretch:

Lay on your side
Grip your foot
Pull your foot and knee backwards so your foot approaches your buttock
It is important to keep your stomach firm and flat during this exercise


The Quadriceps is a large muscle group comprising of Rectus Femoris, Vasitus Lateralis, Medialis and Intermedius muscles.

Rectus Femoris is a long muscle that starts above the hip and inserts below the knee joint. Therefore, it not only flexes the hip but also extends the knee joint. Rest of the muscles in Quadriceps group cross the knee joint alone and are involved with its extension.

With the knee in bent position, Sartorius bends, abducts (moves away from midline) and rotates the hip externally.


Quadriceps stretching helps in the performance of activities involving these muscles, such as climbing steps, walking uphill or on inclines, running, cycling, squatting etc.

Complications of the patello-femoral joint present below the kneecap, may also lead to tightness or stiffness in the quadriceps, which needs to be relieved by stretching.

Regular Movement:

Keeping the back, hip and knee aligned, the heel is brought to touch the buttock or close to it.

The hip joint fully extends to about 10-30 degrees while the knee joint flexes up to 130-140 degrees; however, the stretching of Quadriceps restricts the full range of movement.

Checking for shortness of muscles:

The person lies on a table face upwards and knees at the edge of the table. One knee is then folded against the chest; the other leg remaining suspended, the knee should retain a 90-degree angle and the thigh should remain in contact with the table.

If the knee fails to keep a right angle and extends instead, it shows the shortness of Rectus Femoris muscle. If the thigh shifts away from midline, this indicates tightness in the Tensor Fascia Lata. If it is impossible to keep the thigh on the table, it hints towards the shortness of Iliopsoas muscle that finishes above the knee.