Do you suffer from tight calf muscles? Do you suffer from foot, ankle or knee pain?
If your answer is yes, then try loosening your calf muscles. These muscles run from above the knee joint and attach at the back of your heel, so they have a big impact on the ankle and knee as well as the foot. That is why tight calf muscles can cause pain in any or all these areas.
There are many ways to loosen the calf muscles. No one way is better than another; it all depends how your body responds. Sometimes combining different ways will give you the best results.
3 different ways to loosen the calf muscles
Stretching is an easy way to loosen your calf muscles. You don’t need any equipment and you can stretch pretty much anywhere you want.
- Stand facing a wall with one foot forward about hip-width apart.
- Keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the ground, lean forward into the wall. You should feel this stretch towards the top of your calf muscle.
- To stretch the lower portion of the calf muscle, bring the back foot forward a bit, but still behind the front foot.
- Now bend through both knees and lean toward the wall. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat at least 3–5 times a day to both legs.
- Foam roller
The foam roller is a great piece of equipment for helping to stretch the calf muscles.
- Start seated on the ground with the foam roller in front of you.
- Position one of your calf muscles on the foam roller, and cross the opposite leg over the one on the foam roller.
- Roll your calf muscle up and down the foam roller, making sure you get all parts of the muscle by turning your foot in and out.
- Do this to both sides for at least 30–60 seconds a few times a day.
- Tennis ball
A tennis ball or massage ball is a great way to help loosen your calf muscles as, being smaller than a foam roller, they can get into areas of the calf muscles in a different way. Also, most people have some sort of ball handy.
- Start by sitting on the ground with your legs out in front of you.
- Place the ball under one calf muscle and cross the opposite leg over the top of the first leg to apply more pressure into the ball.
- Roll your calf muscle on the ball so you work into all parts of the calf muscle.
- Do this for 30–60 seconds on both legs at least twice a day.
If the above exercises don’t help the pain in your knee, ankle, feet or calf muscles, then you may need to come in for an assessment by one of our practitioners. To book an appointment at our Manly Vale clinic call (02) 8966 9300, or for our city clinic call (02) 8072 7278.