Walking around when your legs feel stiff can make activities of daily living quite difficult, if not impossible. Learning how to perform a quadriceps stretch will help increase the flexibility of your legs, prevent joint stiffness and improve balance and posture.
Time Required: 3 to 5 Minutes
- While holding on to a sturdy chair, countertop or a friend for balance, stand with both feet on the ground in a comfortable position. This is your starting position.
- Inhale deeply.
- While exhaling, or breathing out, reach back behind your leg and grab your ankle or pant leg that is farthest from the chair or countertop. Gently pull your leg back until your knees line up. Be sure to keep your hips facing forward and your bent knee pointed toward the ground. You should feel a gentle stretch in the front part of your thigh.
- Hold this position until you are finished exhaling. Then, inhale as you slowly lower your leg.
- Repeat steps 2 through 4 two more times.
- Return to your starting position.
- Turn and grab your chair with your other hand, and repeat steps 2 through 5 with the opposite leg.
- Remember: If you have COPD, medical supervision is important when starting an exercise program.
- The quadriceps stretch can be used anytime, but works great as a warm-up for other exercise, such as walking or biking.