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  • Rob

Injury Free Life: Calf Stretches

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Hi, it’s Rob from New Leaf Physiotherapy in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Today I am going to go over calf stretching and two different calf stretches. The reason I am going to give you two different calf stretches is because you have two different calf muscles! One calf muscles starts above the knee and attaches into the Achilles tendon, the gastrocnemius, and the other one starts below the knee and attaches into the Achilles tendon, the soleus. If you have tight calves either of those muscles can be causing the tightness.

The first stretch I like to do is a kneeling stretch. You can use a yoga mat or a carpet to knee on. I’m going to stretch my right leg first on the video, I am kneeling on my left. I’m bringing my right foot back as far as I can, making sure to keep the right heel on the ground. I put my bodyweight on the right leg. The stretch is felt in the right Achilles area and it is a subtle stretch. I’ll hold it 15 to 20 seconds and then I will switch and do it on the left leg. This is stretching the deeper, shorter muscle called the soleus.

The next stretch stretches the longer muscle, the gastrocnemius, or gastroc for short. I use a downward dog. Walk your hands out, bum up in the air, and try keep the heels on the ground with the knees being straight. You are stretching both calves at the same time. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.

See me demonstrate these two below:

That’s calf stretching, thanks for watching.

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