We are going to do two calf stretches. Did you know we have more than one calf muscle? It takes two different kinds of stretches to get to them both. You may find one stretch is more helpful than the other. It’s possible that the two sides will be different. Pay attention to what works best for each side!
Please note: This video has not been modified for injury or chronic pain issues. Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
The calf stretches are usually safe to do, unless you’re in any acute pain. We certainly do not want to push through the pain. Pain is a signal that something is wrong!
A special tip for you: Besides the obvious benefit of stretching the calf muscles, these stretches can also help relieve lower back pain. Crazy right? It’s true though! I’m not saying it’s always the case but it’s worth a try. Stretch out your calves everyday and see it it makes a difference. Ideally we would stretch out multiple times a day everyday. Let’s strive for that!
The first stretch is for the soleus, the lower calf muscle. To stretch out my soleus on the left side, I’m going to bring my left foot to the wall, or to the molding of the wall. I’m going to have my right foot back on the ball of the foot, heel up, right knee bent. I want to keep my pelvis square to the wall, so I’m not rotated. I’m going to exhale, and bend the left knee, and see if the knee can touch the wall. If the knee can touch the wall easily, I’m going to backup my foot to increase the stretch and repeat until I find the right distance to get a good stretch.
I’m going to exhale into the stretch, inhale out of it, and repeat. I want to keep my left foot entirely down on the floor, including the heel, make sure my knee is tracking over my second and third toe, and that my pelvis is staying square to the wall. When it’s gotten easier to tap the knee to the wall, I’m going to switch sides.
Now, to stretch the left gastroc, I’m going to back my left foot up. I place my right foot in front, and I want as much space in between my feet as possible while keeping my left foot all the way down on the floor, especially the heel. I want my pelvis square to the wall. I’m going to exhale into the stretch by bending the right knee, and inhale out of the stretch. I’m going to repeat that, until I get more range of motion. I make sure to keep my left foot all the way down on the floor, especially the heel. When I have more range of motion, I can switch sides.
I know I have said this multiple times but remember to keep your entire foot on the floor, this is important! You want to stretch out your calf muscles right? You will not get the same results if you let your heel up. I say this because it’s the most common cheat I see. My clients tend to not realize that have lifted up their heel. We want results, keep your heel down!
My clients get these exercises for homework, they’re helpful and they feel good. Remember to stretch out everyday and, if you can, multiple times a day. You will get faster results this way. My clients tend to build up their practice. Start with once a day everyday. Once you have that habit down then try for twice a day, everyday. It will get easier as you go along, if you stay disciplined.
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Stayed tuned for the next post! We will see what I have in store for you then.
Until then; Enjoy life, have fun and make it a great day!
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