For years, this simple quad stretch was part of my pre-run routine. Then I got to feeling pressed for time and my stretching routine pretty much shrunk down to a single maneuver: that calf stretch where you push against your car or a wall.
Then one day, looking to kill some time as I waited for my sister to arrive for a run, I reached back to grab my foot … and discovered I couldn’t. Not even close!
This is a textbook example of the “use it or lose it” principle of aging. Stop using even a select few of your muscles in a particular way and they become too rusty to rely on.
Luckily, it’s reversible. With some concentrated, frustration-prone effort, I’m now once again able to do this stretch.