Lunging Calf Stretch "This is one of the most popular [calf stretches] because it can be done anywhere easily," says Otey. In this case, stretching is not an appropriate treatment, and a doctor should advise about the next steps. These require medical attention. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Press your heels toward the ground—the closer they get to the floor, the deeper the calf stretch will be. Hold for a count of 5. A physiotherapist or orthopedic surgeon can help develop a personalized program. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) often comes along with swelling, which can restrict movement and make muscles feel tight. There are two general techniques for stretching the calf muscles. Gently shift your hands over to one side as you rotate the lower part of your shoulder blade up toward the ceiling. To stretch the lower part of your calves, bend your knees slightly while you continue to press your heels toward the ground. Wrap the opposite end of the band around the foot. Stretch out the other arm in front of you -- repeat. One requires a wall, and the other does not. Seated Calf Stretch With a Resistance Band. Hamstring muscles on the back of your thighs are often tight, especially if you have a desk job. Hold this position for 15–20 seconds. Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - … Strengthening these muscles can also help prevent injuries. When the Achilles tendon is inflamed, it can tighten and cause discomfort. Could telomere shortening protect against cancer? SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Hold For Longer: Studies have shown the most effective way to stretch is to hold calf stretches for thirty seconds. Feel the stretch all along the calf of your back leg. Once you've held this stretch, change the angle of your foot positioning, suggests Otey—you'll probably find that different parts of your calf feel tighter than others, depending on your movement patterns, the shoes you wear, and your lifestyle. Do them all the next time your calves are feeling tight, and add a few into your overall stretching routine to help keep your legs feeling limber. Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF. Your calves might also feel tight when you're really sore, like after a particularly leg-heavy workout or a longer run than your body's used to. That’s how these filaments line up, explains Schroeder. We sit in our car, or on a bus or train, while on our way to work, then we sit once we get to work, come back home, and usually sit some more. "Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, knee pain, plantar fasciitis...these can all originate from tight calf muscles," says Schroeder. Tightness in these muscles can cause soreness and pain. If this is not the case, slide the back leg further away until you feel the stretch. Not really a desk exercise, but perfect for when you’re waiting by the printer, copier or microwave. "I love using gravity to assist stretches," says Otey. All rights reserved. Tight calves can also impact your squat form. "[When this happens,] we’ve disrupted the kinetic chain from the bottom up, and immediately you’re in a weakened position," adds Otey. Then, hold for an additional 10 seconds before returning to your regular sitting position. That is, until they demand your attention with that nagging, tight feeling. "For example, high heels restrict the full range of motion of that muscle group," says Schroeder. Step 2: Lightly bend the back (left) knee and point the toes inward a little. Take short walks to give your legs a chance to increase blood flow. Calf stretches can help relieve associated soreness and pain. Step 1: Stand with the right leg in front of the left leg. However, it can also indicate an underlying medical issue, including deep vein…, Certain foot and leg stretches can speed up recovery and relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. Loop a towel around the foot of the straight leg and slowly pull the foot to point towards you. Here's why tight calves are such a problem—and how to loosen 'em up. This stretch helps you work on ankle dorsiflexion, says Otey, and it also hits your hamstrings. Step 2: Press the back (left) heel into the floor and straighten the back leg while keeping the front leg bent. Send hips back and bend knees to squat down as low as possible while … For example, if you sit at a desk all day without walking around, your knee and ankle joints pretty much stay in one position (which means your calves aren't moving, either). 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