6 Best Calf Stretches to Relieve Tight Calves: It’s easy to stretch the bigger muscles in your legs, like the hamstrings, hips, quads, and even the glutes.
But what about the calves? Not enough people pay attention to them.
When calves are overused, they can be sneaky about letting you know. They often have a tone problem that doesn’t cause a lot of pain, so people forget about it, says Julie Read, a massage therapist and author of Muscles to the Masses. “Oftentimes, though, when palpated, clients are surprised that they are tender.”
6 Best Calf Stretches to Relieve Tight Calves
Pain in other parts of the body can be caused by sore legs. For instance, not being able to bend your calves enough can cause knee and joint pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and even back problems. The calf is made up of two muscles that connect at the knee and the bottom of the heel.
When you bend your knee, the gastrocnemius is a big muscle. When you point your foot, the soleus is the main muscle that moves your foot. Read also says that their fascia, which is a thin layer of tissue that holds muscles together, goes from the bottom of their foot to the back of their upper leg.
In other words, stress in these areas can make it harder to squat, walk, and stand, putting extra strain on other muscles, tendons, and joints.
Good news: if you regularly use the following massage techniques and calf stretches, you’ll start feeling less stressed and pain right away.
Best Calf Massages
1. Calf Massage with Lacrosse Ball
Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and grab a lacrosse or baseball. Put the ball just above your ankle on the bottom of your right leg. With your right leg, move the ball from side to side.
Then, slowly work the ball up toward the top of your knee. If you feel any sore spots on the way there, put the ball down there and move your foot clockwise and counterclockwise for 10 to 15 seconds. This will help loosen up the area.
Cross your left leg over your right shin to make the pressure stronger. You can also dig in a little deeper and have more room to move your ankle by putting the ball on a yoga block. After you’ve messaged your right leg, do the same thing with your left one.
2. Soleus Foam Roller Massage
As you sit on top of the foam roller with your feet in front of you, slowly move your buttocks from side to side as you feel for sore spots. Work your way down to your legs.
If this area hurts, hold the foam roller here and breathe for 10 to 15 seconds, or until you feel the trigger point relax. Do this again and again until you’ve worked out your hamstrings, hips, and calves.
Best Calf Stretches
1. Downward Facing Dog
Not only does this stretch help your legs, it also opens up your shoulders, lengthens your hamstrings, and warms up your ankles. As you begin, stand on all fours with your knees under your hips and your arms directly under your shoulders.
Then, put your hands on the floor and lift your butt up in the air. Move your head between your arms. Push your feet down to the ground. Hold this for 30 seconds to a minute, paddling your feet every now and then.
2. Heel Drop Stretch
Try this one if you also want to stretch and strengthen your Achilles tendon: Do yoga on a step or other raised surface with your yoga block. Place your feet so that your right heel is over the edge.
Step both feet up. As your right heel falls to the floor, put most of your weight on it. Stretch this way for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides. If you want to stretch your calf in different ways, do this stretch with one leg slightly bent.
You can also use the heel drop as a great active stretch to warm up and test your range of motion. Start in the same way, but this time put both feet over the edge. Put your heels down on the ground, and then lift them up while pressing through the balls of your feet. Do this 8–12 times.
3. Wall Calf Stretch
Place yourself one to two feet away from a wall to begin. Put the ball of your right foot against the wall as you step forward with that foot. Do not move your right leg off the ground.
You can get help by putting your hands on the wall in front of you. Press through your left foot as your hips move forward to make the stretch stronger. Do this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds on one side, then switch sides.
4. Banded Calf Stretch
Get a resistance band. You could also use a strap, a towel, or a rope. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Wrap the band around the ball of your right foot and pull it tight as your toes bend toward you.
To make the stretch stronger, push your right leg away from your body. Once you’re done with your left leg, do it again with your right.
If you like this article about 6 Best Calf Stretches to Relieve Tight Calves, Please share this article with your friends and family members.