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How to Stretch Calf Muscle

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! Here's how to support yours:

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

  • Standing at a wall, stagger your feet placing the left foot a few inches from the wall and the right foot about one to two feet behind your left foot.
  • Lean forward into the wall while bending your left knee, pressing your right heel into the ground. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Then step your right foot forward six to eight inches, and bend both knees but shifting your weight onto your left foot while pressing your right heel into the ground. This position stretches the deep calf muscle, aka soleus, and lengthens the Achilles tendon. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios
Join The Conversation
Swangeese Swangeese 9 years
One tip for the runners is to get properly fitted for a running shoe. You can find a list of specialty stores at the Runner's World website. I developed plantar fascitis from wearing the wrong running shoe for my foot (low arches and neutral shoes don't mix). And even with stretching, the pain really didn't go away until I got properly fitted. Another thing is to replace your running shoes when they wear out. A rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every six months. The reason being is that the cushioning flattens over time with use.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I will start doing these stretches ASAP for my calves. Sometimes I get stiff after running, so maybe these will help.
hottpink hottpink 9 years
I do these stretches also before I run but whenever I run I get a pain on the front of my leg, around my shin bone. Are there muscles there and if so, is there any stretches you can do???
starofsorrow starofsorrow 9 years
Will defnitely have to start doing that for my walk home! I have to walk uphill a steep hill just to get home, with my school books!
workofiction workofiction 9 years
These are my first two stretches before I run, every time!
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 9 years
cool! i do these two stretches all the time! it is also important to keep your back straight in these moves.
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