Calf stretches are very important for the mobility of the ankle joint. The muscles of the calves tend to shortening and should be stretched regularly. Many are not able to crouch without lifting the heels from the ground. It is not necessary to crouch all the way down with your heels on the floor but we would do good with extending that range. The calves consist of two different muscles, the musculus gastrocnemius and the musculus soleus, what requires two stretching exercises to achieve an optimal mobility.

Calf stretches

The musculus gastrocnemius is the bipennate calf muscle consisting of two muscle heads. To stretch this calf muscle rest with both hands on a wall. Your legs perform a high lunge. Both feet keep straight pointing towards the wall. The knee joint of the rearward leg is stretched and the heel presses into the floor. Move your hips towards the wall what increases the bending of your ankle joint to achieve a considerable stretch tension.

The musculus soleus is located below the musculus gastrocnemius. To stretch this calf muscle we choose a narrower lunge position with our hands still resting on the wall. The heel of the rearward leg, what is carrying the main part of our weight, remains on the floor and our feet keep pointing straight forward. We now bend the rearward leg maximally moving our knee as far to the front as possible. This causes a high stretch tension in the calf and the achilles tendon.

Both exercises could also be performed without having the hands resting on a wall. But this would reduce the pressure we would be able to put onto our calves what makes this stretching variation less effective.


Please read the article types of stretching to learn about the different ways a stretching can be performed.

 

Calf stretches gastrocnemius

Calf stretches gastrocnemius

 

Calf stretches soleus

Calf stretches soleus

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