Calf Stretch

The move of the week is a stretch for the calf muscles – especially important when wearing heels. Heels keep the feet in a plantar flexed position, which results in the calf muscles remaining in contraction (which is why heels make legs look fabulous). But all this beauty can cause pain and discomfort. By stretching out the calf muscles (there’s two of them) after wearing heels, you’ll loosen said muscles and prevent further cramping later on. There are two muscles in the rear lower leg, the gastrocnemius, the muscle we actually see and the soleus, which is underneath. Standing a few feet from a wall or other tall sturdy surface, step one foot toward the wall keeping the second foot where it is. Think of “pushing” the wall so that you are leaning into it with abs engaged, the front leg is bent taking your weight and the back leg straight with the heel pressed to the ground. The further down you press your heel and/or lean away from the back leg the more intense the stretch. Keep breathing and hold this for 30 seconds. This will stretch the gastrocnemius muscle. To stretch the soleus, stay in this exact position and bend the back knee in toward the wall until you feel the tension deeper in the calf area. Hold this for 30 seconds and switch legs.

Notes:  A good stretch will result in a tension of 7 out of 10. Keep your back knee soft even when doing the first stretch (don’t lock it out)

Easier: Standing closer to the wall at less of an angle will decrease the stretch if your muscles are very tight.

Harder:  Stand further away from the wall to increase the angle. Hold the stretch longer or do multiple reps of 30 seconds.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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