This is simple, safe and very effective stretch for improving your calf and achilles tendon flexibility. Most people do the traditional runners stretch or a calf stretch off the edge of a step. There are often done incorrectly and not the best calf ankle stretches.
The calf stretch keeps your body in good alignement and doesn’t strain your low back. This stretch can be part of your achilles tendonitis recovery program.
Stretches for Calf and Achilles Tendon Problems [Click To Tweet]
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Exercises That Stretch the Calf And Achilles Tendon [Click To Tweet]
Hey everyone, my name is Manu Kalia. I’m a physical therapist and an Ayurveda herbalist. I’m here with my friend and colleague, Eric, who’s also a physical therapist, and he’s helping me shoot this cool video for you guys. And today we’re going to talk about calf stretch, and I’m going to show a very simple way of doing a calf stretch that’s much more effective than the traditional runner stretch that everybody else does.
So when I say a calf stretch, we’re targeting a couple of different muscle groups and tendon and a few different things. So one is we’re going to target your calf itself, we’re going to target your Achilles tendon, and then also the ankle itself. So if things are tight through here or the ankle’s stiff, this stretch can be helpful.
The usual or the traditional way of doing a calf stretch or the runner stretch that most people do is you see people leaning against the wall and they put that back foot down, the foot they’re trying to stretch, and they’ll end up leaning forward. I think this is not as effective and for a few reasons. One is they end up bending their upper body or their back too far forward when they’re doing that, so you never really get a stretch from the calf – you’re just bending at your spine. And the second thing, or for that matter they go the other direction, so where they might be leaning too far back, which is not as good for your spine; your hinging more at your spine and you’re not targeting the group that you’re trying to get to.
So I think what’s more effective is to use a towel roll or a sheet or something rolled like this, and I’m going to place this here. So if I’m trying to stretch my left calf, I’m going to put my forefoot, the front of my foot, on the towel roll. The heel stays down on the ground. Front leg, my right leg goes here with the knee slightly bent. Back heel stays down and I strengthen out my knee – back knee straight.
Now, I’m already getting the stretch and this way I don’t have to lean as far forward to get that stretch in that calf. But if I want a stronger stretch, all I need to do is I need to shift my weight forward. I’m not bending forward at my spine or my waist, I’m shifting my weight forward. So I’m bending my front knee and I shift my weight forward. Back stays nice and straight. If I want a little bit of that extra stretch on that, I tighten up my butt or my glutes on that side that I’m stretching. So when I tighten those guys up, I get a stronger stretch down there on my calf because it makes my hip extend or go backwards.
So you want to hang out and you want to hold this position for about 60 seconds or a little bit more even, but you want a moderate stretch. You don’t want a very strong stretch so you won’t be able to hold that position. So I think this is much more effective to do your stretch in this position than using some of the other traditional ways of stretching.
Now, I hope you guys find this helpful, but I want you to make sure that if you have any low back issues, any hip problems, knee, ankle, any other sort of these problems, make sure you get those checked out by your physical therapist or your physician before you try any of these stretches.
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