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Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy

In the previous article on 5 Tips to Lose Weight in a Healthy Way, I mentioned about accompanying brisk walking with stretches, in which I recommended Upper Calf Stretching and Hip Flexor Stretch as a way of cooling down. For this post we are going to discuss about calf stretching tips as a means to help you cool down after a strenuous activity. Let’s learn how important is calf stretching after a run.

Lower Extremity Muscles which consist of gastrocnemius and soleus muscles

Lower Extremity Muscles which consist of gastrocnemius and soleus muscles

To give you a clear understanding of this exercise, it is best to know why you even need it. First of all, we use our calf muscles every time we walk, run or perform cycling activities. Given that we always use our legs everyday, there is a chance that our muscles contracts when we are into strenuous activities. Let’s get to know our calves a bit deeper. Our calves are made up of two major muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius muscle is located at the back of our lower leg in which beneath it is the soleus muscle, both are connected to the heel which makes the Achilles tendon. Our calves are important in smoothing circulation in our veins. That is why it is important that our calves are flexible to prevent any tear in our muscle, this usually happens when our muscle contracts, blocking the normal circulation in the venous system, this happens when we feel pain even when walking. A good exercise is necessary in maintaining the flexibility of our calf muscles allowing our legs to function properly. Especially for women who wear high heeled shoes almost every day.

One way of stretching your calves is through upper calf stretching. After your run or go cycling, you can do this exercise to maintain proper circulation on your calf muscles. Here’s how to do it.

  1. For a starting position, stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
  2. Slowly, place your left let forward, and slowly bend your left knees.
  3. Make sure that your heels are fixed on the ground. And both feet are facing forward.
  4. As you bend your knees, you will feel the stretch below your knees at the back of the right leg.
  5. Hold the position for at least 15 seconds and repeat the same process with your right leg.

You’re on your way to living that healthy lifestyle you have always wanted. Enjoy the journey and have fun!