Quadriceps Stretch (Kayak Paddle)

by doctorjeal
0 comment 4 minutes read

The Quadriceps Paddle Stretch stretching guide. Here you will learn how to do a Quadriceps Paddle Stretch using the correct technique. In this guide, you will find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of the stretching exercise.

When to use this stretch

As a kayaking instructor, I’ve spent many hours coaching kids and adults kayaking and normally in a pool environment in very specific training situations. Structured sessions should include some stretching. Using the paddle for stretching makes a lot of sense, for this stretch, we are lengthening the quadriceps (quads), You might not think you use your quads much in kayaking, however, most of the stability work comes from bracing your core and legs and they certainly get a workout.

The lying quadriceps stretch is more of a post-session stretch as it is a static and developmental style stretch. So, next time you get out of the water make sure you stretch out those quads.

Stretching Guide

This is an advanced variation of a standing Rectus Femoris Stretch and requires good balance and core stability as when performing this stretch is will not be possible to hold on to a supporting object or wall etc for additional balance.

If you lack knee flexion or suffer from tight quadriceps, it is likely you will not be able to safely perform this stretch.

Note: This is an improvised stretch specific to the sport of canoeing and kayaking

Stretch Details

  • Group: Legs, Quadriceps
  • Muscles: Rectus Femoris
  • Stretch Type: Static


  • A kayak or Canoe Paddle

Stretching Instructions

Above: The improvised kayaking and canoeing stretch to stretch the Rectus Femoris at the upper front of your legs.

To start, hold the paddle with one hand behind you while you flex one leg as far as possible, then move the paddle shaft so that it is on the lower part of your foot. Reach down with the other hand to grab the paddle shaft, remember to engage your core as you do this and keep a good balance. Holding the paddle with two hands, stand up straight and use the paddle to tuck your heel as close up to your bum as you feel comfortable until you feel the stretch down the front of your upper leg, keep your knees in line using the external force of the paddle to create the stretch. You can enhance the stretch by pushing your hips forward into the stretch.

This stretch can be performed using either a kayak or canoe paddle

Top Tips

  • Maintain balance balance and neutral spine posture during stretch
  • Keep the knees in-line
  • Place paddle on soft part of foot

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