|Speed skaters can't afford to have their quadriceps cramping when they're careening around icy turns, which is why the brutal quad-pull stretch has been such a favorite among the speed skating set. "It's the best stretch for the big muscles in front of the thigh, and if you make small changes in your position you can also get to other minor muscles," says Gerard Kemkers, coach of the U.S. National Speed Skating Team.
After a five-minute aerobic warm-up, kneel on your right knee with your left foot on the floor in front of you and that knee bent at 90 degrees — like Reggie White resting on the sidelines. Hold a chair with your left hand for balance and, keeping your torso upright with your back slightly arched, reach back with your right hand and grasp your right ankle. Now, ever so gently, pull toward your backside until you feel a slight burn, and hold for 15 seconds. Relax, reposition the chair to your right, and repeat by stretching the same leg with the opposite hand. Repeat both variations with the opposite leg.