21 Oct Quad Sets for Quadriceps Activation
Arthrogenic muscle inhibition is a process in which quadriceps activation failure is caused by neural inhibition. It’s essentially the nervous system not allowing the normal pathways of muscle activation to occur. The best evidence to date (Systematic Review from Sonnery-Cottet 2018) supports the use of therapeutic exercise and icing to improve quadriceps activation. Our favorite exercise to re-teach patients quadriceps activation is all mighty quad set.
The quad set is paramount to getting re-gaining quadriceps activation. After an injury (which includes surgery), there is lots of swelling in the knee that accumulates. This swelling leads to a phenomena called arthrogenic muscle inhibition, in which there is an inability to completely contract a muscle despite no injury to the muscle or innervating nerve. To combat this, lots of practice and developing a new “brain-body connection” is required. Follow this foolproof guide to wake your quad back up!
Lay on the ground or table and place a rolled up towel/shirt under your knee. This will act as a lever which will make it easier to activate your quadriceps muscle. Attempt to squeeze your quadriceps muscle using these cues:
- Really focus on squeezing your quad
- Sometimes touching the muscle, massaging it, or hitting it can help
- Think about moving your kneecap up and into your hip socket
- Push your knee down into the towel roll
- Lift your heel off the table
- Move your shin bone in the shape of a “J” by moving your knee down and your heel up at the same time
- Squeeze both quadriceps at the same time Happy quad setting!
Knee Extension Overhaul [P]Rehab Program
This program is for anyone looking to truly [P]Rehab their knee before surgery OR work on regaining their knee extension after a surgery or injury. It’s appropriate for anyone regardless of current fitness level and will build you from the ground up to tolerate the end ranges of knee extension. For more about this program click HERE.
Also, check out this video from our good friend Lenny Macrina who did a critical review on the efficacy of different treatments for treating arthogenic muscle inhibition!
Knee [P]Rehab Program
The Knee [P]Rehab Program is for anyone looking to get more out of their knee(s)! Learn more by clicking HERE