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Stretch It: Calves

Tight calves can be an unwanted side effect of such opposite activities as running or wearing high heels. Many people neglect stretching their calves! Since you have two layers of calf muscles, you need to do two stretches to ensure you are reaching both.

So try these stretches after your next run or after a night of dancing in your Jimmy Choos.

Gastrocnemius Stretch

  • Place your hands on a wall, or if you are outside, on a tree!
  • Step your right foot back, bending the left knee (don't let the knee bend forward past the ankle).
  • Keep your right toes pointing straight ahead (people tend to turn their toes out to the side) and reach your heel into the ground.

Hold for 30 seconds

Soleus Stretch

  • Continue to keep your hands on the wall, but move your right foot in three to four inches.
  • Bend you right knee slightly and really anchor your right heel.
  • Shift your weight over your left foot and keep reaching down with your right heel to increase the stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds

Repeat both stretches on the left side. Stretch each side two to three times.

Fit's Tips: It is important to do these stretches in the above sequence. You need to stretch the bigger calf muscle before working deep to the soleus. Both these stretches are great for preventing plantar fasciitis.

Foot & Ankle Institute

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