T Nation

Quads will not loosen up

I use to stretch my hams and quads every other day and have for about 36 years. About three months ago my hams and quads started to tighten to the point that it hurts to walk. I had to start stretching every day, I use to stretch them for about 30 seconds every other day, now I stretch for 60 seconds every day. Each day they are so tight I feel like I never stretch them but they loosen up. If I miss a day my hips hurt if I miss two days I wince when I walk. I did not injure them, I am 56 years old. I no longer run but do ride a mountain bike and use my Boxflex as well as jump on a trampoline.

Maybe its just AGE but I hope not.

Does anyone have any ideas?

The only thing I’d say is that 30 seconds or 60 seconds every day is not really going to do much.

I’m in my early 30’s but have always had problems with my hammys and quads; I would get hammy cramps that made a (as in me) grown man beg for relief since I was about 25. I was running about 100km/wk and riding about 200km/wk at the time. The best thing I ever did for loosening that stuff up was take a good magnesium supplement (look for Chelated Magnesium).

As for stretching, for me a beginners pilates class did wonders. It was the best was to learn how everything linked together in your body and develop awareness of muscle activation and recruitment. Plus the basic stretches were very useful to me. I spend about 15mins a day stretching and I’d say that’s the bare minimum to have any impact or maintenance. However I haven’t had cramps for a long long time and the only time I’m tight is the day after leg day :slight_smile:

So my suggestions would be to try first increasing stretching and warmup to 15-30mins/day as you obviously have some issues to correct, rather than being in maintenance mode. Also if at all possible I’d see a physio and get some targetted stretches and warmups for whatever issue you’re having. If it’s as bad as you say it won’t just be your legs that are tight, it’ll be a whole chain of muscles.

Good luck.

foam rolling
get a sports massage

rolling foam? I think I will have to look that up I have used a rolling pin on my quads when they tightened up before to fatique them. As for the sports massage, yet another thing I have never tired or thought of. Thanks

In addition to the sports massage look into getting ART. For a year I suffered with patella tendinitis. PT focused on the tendon. Stopped seeing him in January and went back to my chiro who did ART.

He found half a dozen trigger points in my quads at least. Now I’m down to one under my IT band and my patella is rarely in pain.

I can’t stress enough, what DarrylLicke suggested is #1. Find someone in your area who is certified to perform ART - Active Release Technique. It’s a “sports massage”, but not to be thought of as your standard massage. It’s friggin’ painful (likely you WILL be sweating from the intensity), but the results are amazing.

[quote]DarrylLicke wrote:
In addition to the sports massage look into getting ART. For a year I suffered with patella tendinitis. PT focused on the tendon. Stopped seeing him in January and went back to my chiro who did ART.

He found half a dozen trigger points in my quads at least. Now I’m down to one under my IT band and my patella is rarely in pain.[/quote]

The things I don’t know about, I never heard of ART I will look into it for both my wife and I. Thanks.

[quote]Vitaquosus wrote:
rolling foam? I think I will have to look that up I have used a rolling pin on my quads when they tightened up before to fatique them. As for the sports massage, yet another thing I have never tired or thought of. Thanks[/quote]

you must be new here
http://www.tnation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/feel_better_for_10_bucks

i prefer graston over ART

Im may be suffering from the same thing.

I used to get it around January this year. It stopped after I started running. But now its come back so that even If I jog on the spot for 20 seconds my legs feel like jelly. Could this be overtraining the legs or is it just a lose of fitness in the quads?

Graston and ART are great and will work initially. But it seems to me that you need to learn to stretch properly, especially if you expect lasting results. Pick up the book ‘Stretch To Win’ by Ann & Chris Frederick. Read it, then design a stretching regimen with your newly attained knowledge.
You may have to read it twice (not too lengthy).