Your quadriceps — the four muscles on the front of your thigh — do a whole lot of work for us. Due to their size (they’re one of the largest muscle groups in the body), they bear the heavy lifting (sometimes literally) for so many movements.
We rely on these powerful muscles constantly: whenever we get up from a chair, scale some steps or squat to pick up something from the floor. Not to mention they’re extraordinarily important in sports like running and cycling.
That’s what also makes these major muscles so susceptible to stress and injury, especially as we grow older. Though healthy quads are crucial at any age, they’re particularly paramount for preventing problems in our knees and back (read: hot spots for most older adults).
In other words, strong, flexible quads protect us from pain and help us maintain our ability to perform daily activities into our golden years.
To keep them limber and loose, stretching is essential. And one of the best thigh stretches you can do is the standing quad stretch. This classic quad drill can help you age more gracefully by lengthening stiff leg and hip muscles, building balance and keeping lower back pain at bay.
But you don’t need to be going gray to give this quad stretch a shot. The benefits are big no matter how many birthday candles graze your cake.