Block Lunges: Release the Quadriceps and Lengthen the Hamstrings
All too often this fails to happen. An extreme case of this failure results in a pulled muscle, and the hamstrings are one of the most commonly pulled muscles. I see this essentially as a postural issue - most people stand in such a way that their thighs lean forward, which puts a lot of pressure on the quadriceps, filling them with tension (as shown on the right side of the picture.) Forward-leaning thighs are forced to work to hold the body up - a job that is way above their pay grade. Forward-leaning thighs also pull the pelvis under into a tucked position that can chronically shorten the hamstrings. Oh, the conundrum!
- Positioned on your hands and knees - or in downward facing dog - step the right foot forward in between your hands. Two blocks should be available for your hands by the front foot.
- Place the third block underneath the quadriceps muscle just above the knee, at the base of the thigh. The idea is for the block to sit under the tendon of the muscle.
- Tuck the back toes and let the weight of the body fall onto the block. Do your best to keep the heel of the back foot pointing straight up toward the ceiling.
- The front leg and hip should not be under any strain. Feel free to make adjustments, stepping the foot wider or turning the foot out.
- You need to stay for ninety seconds to get the full benefits of this pose.