Stretches are here!
What’s the #calf #muscle ?
A lot of people don’t know (or do, but don’t use this knowledge when stretching) that there are 2 separate muscles in the calf that need to be stretched/ targeted differently!
If you’ve done the ‘down-dog’ test (from yesterday’s post)& you felt the #tightness in your calves than this is the post for you!
Step 1-determine WHERE in the calf you felt tight! Was it the lower calf? (i.e. the #soleus) Or was it the upper calf/ up behind the knee? (i.e. the #gastrocnemius)
Once you have figured out which muscle holds the tightness, you can then perform the proper stretches to specifically target it, which is.... Step 2- pick the right stretch!
Soleus stretch: a very common (& effective) soleus stretch is a standing/wall stretch.
Simply stand slightly away from a wall & place your hands on it. Place 1 foot behind (in a lunge position) with *toes facing forward!* Lean into the wall (but keep back tall & straight), leaning fwd from that back ankle, bend the back knee slightly while keeping the heel on (or close to & pushing toward) the floor.
Gastrocnemius stretch: Set up the same: in front of a wall & in your lunge position. Keep back heel on/ pushing towards the floor & lean into the wall again, but keep that back knee STRAIGHT this time! (This is imperative as the gastroc originates above the knee, so it must be straight in order to stretch it!) Once you have done this with your toes straight fwd, you may also want to try turning your toes *slightly out to the side which will target a slightly different aspect of the muscle. (2nd option for both muscles in comments!! ) If you are experiencing tightness perform these stretches regularly, & make sure you are holding/repeating them each time (hold ~30sec, perform on both legs, repeat 2-3X). Tightness will not go away with a single bout of stretching.
As always you can also go back to the down dog position! Walking/ peddling out the feet in this position can also be a great tool to stretch AND release so as not to over stretch! Happy #bending, stay tuned tomorrow for hamstrings!
Hit me up with any questions, or what you would like to see for the next topic! ♀️♀️