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What should I avoid when doing the TFL-and-quadriceps stretch exercise?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
Here are some common errors to avoid when doing the tensor fascia lata (TFL) and quadriceps stretch exercise:
  • If you experience back pain while stretching, your abdominals aren't stabilizing your spine adequately, and your pelvis is rotating more than it should. Begin again and become more aware of when your spine starts to arch off the table. Stop there and let the tissues stretch. Remember, this is not a contest. You'll have plenty of time to stretch these muscles and develop awareness of your spine.
  • If you stretch too aggressively, knee pain in the leg that's being lowered may result. Lower your leg only within a comfortable range of motion, or slide your leg out to the side and then lower it. Find a position where you can experience the stretch pain free. Your goal will then be to gradually work your way back in, so you can lower your leg straight down instead of out to the side.
Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

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Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

Changes happen during pregnancy that not only lead to back pain during pregnancy but also afterward. Many of these changes affect the shape of the spine and tilt of the pelvis. Both of these...
One thing you should avoid when stretching the quadriceps is sitting on both knees and leaning back. This stretch may feel like it’s getting the job done, but at the same time, it’s placing excessive stress on the knees and ankles. The best way to stretch the quads and TFL are by standing, or kneeling on one knee.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.