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Home  /  Blog  /  PRACTICAL ANATOMY FOR EVERYDAY USE. The Quadriceps.
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20th January 2021



Having well-functioning muscles is not simply a matter of vanity; it is essential to support our joints and spine, and to avoid excessive wear and tear. Ultimately, they allow us to go on with our everyday lives without pain.

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym and build up bulky muscles (unless you need them for your lifestyle). However, it is also true that ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ when it comes to the muscles.

In these times, we tend to sit much more despite a boom in exercise classes offered online. But do you know why you should keep some muscles active, especially if you are not a fitness freak, if you are sitting at home, or you are over 40?

Have you ever experienced pain using stairs? Can you easily get out of the bathtub, or up from the floor, throw a ball for your dog, vacuum without back pain, and so on?

Here is some basic anatomy knowledge to help understand the function of some muscles, and some easy exercises to keep them active and strong.

The Quadriceps

The quadriceps is the muscle on the front of the thigh, (composed of four ‘heads’) is the one which help us to get up from a chair or up the stairs as well allowing us not to sink into the floor at every step we take. It is our ‘fall breaker’ and the muscle that gets sore after a long walk downhill.

How to activate the Quadriceps

Basic: Mini squats

Sit at the edge of a chair: Shift your weight forward to stand up transferring your weight over your feet.

Make sure the knees are aligned with the direction of the foot. Do not knock the knees together and drop your foot arch.
Stay 6 seconds in a squat position and slowly straighten your knees and then slowly sit down again.  To add some resistance you can place the hands on the outside of the knees. Simultaneously push with hands against the knees and the knees against the hands to build up a tension. Without loosing this tension shift your weight forwards into the squat position like before.  Aim for 10 repetitions

Variation: start in standing position and slowly bend the knees, as far as you feel comfortable with.  Make sure the knees are aligned with the direction of the foot. If needed support yourself at the wall or chair.

Challenging: Lunge

Stand straight with your arms to the side or on your hips, have a chair close by for support if required.
Take a step forwards on one leg and then drop your hips directly down between both feet, bending both knees.
Push back up to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.
Keep your body upright and straight throughout the movement. 10 repetitions on each side

Challenging: Step up

Stand up straight facing a step.
Have a wall or other supporting surface close to your side.
Place your leg to be exercised on the top of the step.
Step up, ensuring the knee on your stance leg travels forwards over your toes and does not dip inwards.
Bring your elevated leg up to touch the step for a little balance control.
Control the movement as you step back onto the ground behind, leaving your original leg on the step.
10 repetitions on each side

New coaching service

These are just few examples of practical anatomy for everyday use. There are thousands of variations. Some exercises may suit you better than others. Swissphysio is now offering a new coaching and maintenance service with monthly subscription.

The aim is to make sure that you are keeping up with your prescribed exercise routine and to update and adapt it to your needs. This will help you improve your well being, avoiding new injuries or managing chronic conditions.

Every month we will touch ground via video consultation and discuss your well being, training and goals.

For more information contact us on 0191 296 0567 or email at .

Published on: 20th January 2021