When you think about practicing yoga or simply having a stretching session – it can be easy to instantly begin stretching some of your larger muscles, such as the glutes, back and even the hamstrings.
However, even though it’s important to make sure that you are stretching these muscle groups, it is also just as important to make sure that you are stretching all of your smaller muscle groups too – including your calves.
When done correctly, stretching your calf muscles will have the potential to be able to alleviate some of the pain associated with strenuous exercise or busy, everyday activities, while also being able to increase blood flow, decrease toxins and help to loosen them up.
In this post, we are going to be talking you through why it’s so important to make sure that you are stretching your calves.
Along with this, we are also going to be showing you some simple ways that you are going to be able to go ahead and stretch your calves correctly. Read on!
Why Should You Stretch Calf Muscles?
Before we jump any further into this article, we first think that it would be a good idea to talk you through why it’s so important to make sure that you are regularly taking the time to stretch your calves.
Essentially, your calf muscles are made up of two muscles, and these are the gastrocnemius (which is the main muscle that comprises the calf muscles) as well as the soleus, which is a smaller muscle that is located directly underneath it.
These two muscles connect up to the knee and then taper off towards the bottom of the heel.
In addition to this, there is also another muscle that is known as the plantaris, which essentially runs between both the gastrocnemius muscle as well as the soleus muscle.
However, it is worth mentioning that not everyone has this third muscle, so much so – that only around 10% of the population has this third muscle.
It is important to make sure that you are taking the time to massage and stretch your calf muscles regularly because they are the main muscles that support (as well as take the brunt of) the majority of your everyday life activities.
From hitting the gym, going for a jog, walking the dog and much more, the calf muscles are vital to ensuring that you will be able to carry out everyday life without any issues.
For this reason, it’s important to make sure that you are taking the time to stretch them.
Why Do Calf Muscles Become Tight?
There are many reasons why calf muscles become tight, however, the main reason that they tend to become tight is often due to lack of movement.
For instance, if you work a 9-5 office job, you will have a greater chance of experiencing calf tightness due to spending the majority of your workday sitting down, as opposed to someone who has a job that requires them to be up on their feet.
Along with this, it is also worth noting that there are a variety of additional factors that can play a role in causing you to experience calf muscle tightness.
These include factors such as the shoes that you wear, the diet that you have as well as how much sleep you are getting each night.
If you aren’t stretching, your muscle fibers in your calves can become used to staying in a shortened position, which will make it harder for you to be able to move them without pain or restriction.
This brings us to our next point!
What Are The Benefits Of Muscle Stretching?
Even though there are many factors that can contribute to tightness in the calf muscles, the good news is that muscle stretching offers a variety of benefits that can help to reduce pain and stiffness.
When done correctly, stretching has the ability to help loosen the filament and fibers in your muscles, which will then help to stretch them out and reduce the amount of tightness that you feel.
The only question is, how do you stretch calf muscles? Let’s take a look.
How To Stretch Calf Muscles?
Now that we have taken a closer look at why it’s important to stretch your calf muscles as well as what the benefits of regular stretching your calves are – we are now going to be sharing with you some of the best ways that you can stretch your calves.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to stretch them below:
- Downward Dog: This is by far the best way to stretch your calves. To do this, simply begin in a high plank position, making sure that your hands are placed directly under your shoulders. Press into your palms and shift your weight into your back so that your body is in a “V” shape. Slowly place your heels on the ground and allow yourself to sink into the stretch for deep relief. For a deeper stretch, you can bend your knees a little.
- With a Resistance Band: If you don’t want to try downward dog, another way you can stretch your calf muscles is by using a resistance band. This is a great option for those who are experiencing intense tightness, as the band does the majority of the hard work. Simply wrap the band around your foot and pull either end of the band with your hands.
- Toes on Wall Stretch: Last but not least, the final way that you can stretch your calf muscles is by trying these toes on wall stretch. Just like the name suggests, all you will need to do is simply place your toes on the edge of a wall and then apply pressure for a deep calf stretch.
There we have it! We hope that we have been able to help you discover some simple ways to stretch your calf muscles, as well as why it’s so important to make sure that you’re doing it.
Thanks for reading!