The strongest muscle in the body is the QUADRICEPS. Called quadriceps because it has four muscles making up this massive muscle (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius). The quads are strong knee extensors(straight at the knee joint) and hip flexors(bending the hip up). Also the lateral quad can contribute to tight IT bands. Sitting, squatting, standing with knees hyperextended, having a forward (anterior) tilt to the pelvis, running, jumping and over activity of the legs can contribute to tight quads. Tight quads = knee pain and lower back pain.
Correcting posture is an easy way to reduce that tension. Make sure when you stand your knees have a slight bend in them and your hips are in a neutral position. Stretching the quads seems so simple, and it is! Hold your foot behind your body, if it does not pull up to your hip no worries, it will get there eventually. Make sure you are not leaning forward or backwards but that your legs and upper torso are perpendicular to the floor otherwise it will not be a true stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. If you want a deeper release as you are in the stretched position create tension and pressure, a slight kicking motion as though your foot wants to go back to the floor but do not let it move. With your hand hold it in the stretched position for 5 seconds while applying that tension. Then relax the muscle and it will stretch a little bit further, hold for 30 seconds.
Self massage can be a very deep release as it is easy to put your body weight on a foam roller, if you do not have a foam roller you can use a rolling pin or tennis ball. Find those painful spots, shouldn’t be too hard to do and allow the muscles to relax and release into the item. Breathe!!