One particularly common complaint in athletes is tight calf muscles. The posterior compartment of the leg which we often refer to as the calves, consists of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius heads and the soleus. These muscles share the same tendon and attachment site at the calcaneus (heel). Tight calves can lead to a reduction in ankle dorsiflexion, increased loading of the forefoot, predispose to injury and promote toe walking in children.
Below are some stretches to help relieve calf muscles.
Wall Calf Stretch
- Facing a wall place both hands at shoulder height against the wall
- Move one leg back keeping the knee straight while the front knee bends
- Make sure to keep both heels on the ground and toes pointing forward
- Gently move into the stretch, you should feel tension through your calf muscles and Achilles tendon
- Hold for 20sec and repeat 3 times
- Repeat steps 2-5 with the leg position reversed
Once you are able to perform this stretch comfortably, a second deeper stretch can be implemented.
Step Calf Stretch
- Step onto the step with both feet placing the heels and mid foot over the edge
- Holding onto a nearby wall or chair, carefully raise onto one leg
- Lower the heel of the leg you are standing on slowly towards the ground
- You should feel a stretch along your calf muscles and Achilles tendon
- Hold this stretch for 20sec
- Return the raised leg to the step and bring the stretched leg back to resting
- Repeat the process with the opposite leg stretched
- 3 stretches each leg holding for 20sec each
If you suffer from tight calves, have a sports injury or want a treatment plan to implement more activity into your life, please call us on 8645 9800 or,