Dynamic stretching prevents sports injuries by warming up muscles using smooth motion and movements. Unlike ballistic stretching, when performing a dynamic quad stretch, you do not bounce or jerk into the motions, which can cause injuries. A dynamic quad stretch also is different from the more common static style of quad stretch, which you hold in a steady position at the peak of the stretch.
When to Use Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching is particularly useful during your pre-exercise warm-up because the stretches simulate the movements you will perform while exercising. If engaging in sports that heavily involve your quads, such as running, jumping, kicking and squatting, smooth dynamic stretches will ease tightness in your quads through your full range of motion. In addition, dynamic stretches stimulate your quads’ stretch reflexes to prepare them for quick, explosive movements. On the other hand, static stretching is more suited to improving overall quad flexibility.
Walking Lunges Stretch
Walking lunges are ideal for any exercise or sport that requires quad movement, but are especially helpful in preparing your quads for explosive motions, such as sprinting and jumping. Do not use weights while performing this dynamic stretch – this exercise is designed to increase flexibility, not quad strength. Place your hands on your hips. Take a long step forward and bring your back knee down toward the floor, moving in slow steady motions. Slowly press up and step your back foot to next to your front foot. Take a long step forward with your other foot. Take 10 to 20 steps or walk until you feel your quad steadily loosen.
Heel to Butt Stretch
The heel to butt dynamic stretch is a variation of the static stretch that uses this same motion. The stretch targets both the quads and the hip flexors. Stand with your feet hips-width apart, either holding onto a rail or wall, or bracing your core for balance. Bring your right heel toward your buttock. Grab hold of your foot and smoothly bring it closer to your buttock. Release your foot to standing position. Repeat the exercise on your left side. Use fluid motions, not pausing at the peak of the stretch. Do the stretch 10 to 20 times on both legs.
The kneeling dynamic stretch provides a deep stretch of the quads and hip flexors. Start in a kneeling "proposal" position with your right foot planted firmly forward. Place both hands on your right thigh to maintain balance. Press your hips slowly forward until you feel a stretch in your left quad. Release the stretch, moving your hips back to neutral. Repeat the motion five to 10 times, not pausing at either end of the movement. Switch legs and stretch your right quad.