3 Stretches For Your Calves
Here are 3 calf stretches that target different parts of the calf group which I frequently use before conditioning exercises.
Now, why is it so important to have good mobility at the ankle?
Stiffness of the ankle can contribute to a number of issues within the foot and ankle but is also associated with injuries at higher levels including:
• ‘shin splints’ or the various shin injuries grouped under the term. See our article covering what can be included under the heading of shin splints and why it’s a rubbish, non-specific diagnosis!
• Knee ligament and cartilage injuries
• Patellofemoral Joint Pain (effecting the knee cap)
• ITB issues
• Groin/Hip Injury
• Pelvic and Gluteal Pain- including various bone, tendons, bursas and joint issues.
• Lower Back Pain
These issues occur because stiffness at the ankle resists the leg from bending forward over the foot and instead forces the foot to roll inwards, flattening more aggressively than normal which then puts a force on the leg to twist inwards, stressing structures further up the leg.
If you are strong enough, you can manage the force and be fine. If strength reduces due to rest or reduced activity, or if load increases too quickly to allow the body to adapt and strengthen or if the amount of rotation increases due to increased ankle stiffness, our ability to cope reduces and pain can develop.
If we increase mobility and strength we increase our capacity and reduce the likelihood of any problems.
These 3 stretches can help to reduce tightness in the various muscles of the calf, then it’s important to develop strength and control, allowing the muscles to perform their roles of stabilising the foot and developing power.
Straight Leg Calf Stretch
Bent Knee Calf Stretch
Long Toe Flexor Stretch
As always, there should not be any pain associated with stretching so if there is pain, find out why. [Book Now]