The Quadriceps

quads -- 2016
The Quadriceps

Pictured above are the quadriceps. The leg on the right has each muscle labeled. The muscles are also layered just like in your thigh, showing how some of the muscles are covered by the others.

The leg on the left has all the muscles that cross the front of your thigh in addition to the quads. All of the muscles in the left leg are see-through so that you can appreciate the location and size of each muscle relative to the others.

Click here for a list of all the muscles.

Individual Quads you might be interested in:

  1. The Rectus Femoris
  2. The Vastus Medialis Oblique
  3. The Vastus Lateralis Oblique
  4. The Vastus Intermedius

Good luck working out those tight knots.

If you have any questions, please post a comment. We try to respond within 24 hours.

We're here to help you get more out of your training!

3 thoughts on “The Quadriceps”

  1. Jeff: I have lately experienced discomfort in the knee and just on the outside of the knee. The pain almost feels like it is beneath the cap itself. From these figures it looks like the Rectus Femoris would be the main muscle to massage. Do you have any thoughts on where to focus the massage?
    Dave VH

    1. Dave, when you have a joint issue, please use your best judgment regarding when you should contact a therapist for a proper diagnosis. There are muscle dysfunctions that can affect your joint and cause tremendous discomfort. However, I want to stress that you should probably see a doctor or other licensed professional for a proper assessment.

      That said, based on your description I would agree with you, the rectus femoris is likely in need of daily SMR and stretching. I will also add that I bet your vastus intermedius is like rock underneath the rectus femoris. To adequately release knots in the vastus intermedius you need to use the ball and take some S-L-O-W deep breaths while lying on top of the ball with your thigh. You may need a hard ball like the lacrosse ball, or even add heat to the SMR techniques by using a Basalt massage stone (volcanic rock that is used in stone massage). We sell the lacrosse balls on our site, and will offer the Basalt stones in the coming weeks.

      If your issue is purely muscular, you should see (or feel) noticeable improvements within days of doing SMR techniques for your center quads. Do 2-5 minutes for each technique, 2-3 times per day, plus the usual 18 fundamental SMR exercises. If you experience any unusual swelling or an increase in discomfort, discontinue SMR and contact your local therapist.

      Good luck, and please keep us posted!

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