Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been focusing on getting to my most optimal health and fitness level. To do that, I’ve signed up for marathons, got a personal trainer, seen a dietian, and figured out new ways to stretch sore muscles – in preparation of my 30th birthday. And as it turns out, from sitting so much during my work from home days and running so much, my calves remain super tight.
Calves are one of the least thought about muscles on the body and can easily tighten up and cause pain. Calves are also a main body part that is so easily overworked and can cause way too many non-contact injuries.
Tight calves are not only painful and irritable, but they can lead to distorted joint motion on the foot and ankle — gradually affecting the knee and hip. If, you too, are concerned about your calves and body in general, below are some amazing stretches to incorporate into your routine.
Wall calf stretch
This is the classic stretch you’ll see runners do. You may have thought this was for ankles, which in a way, it is — but it is also gold for tight calves. Simply stand a foot away from the wall and step on any raised object on the ground. Step forward and lean on the wall with your heel firmly on the ground, and feel the burn/stretch in the back of your leg. Repeat this for 30 seconds before switching legs for maximum benefits.
Go full yogi and do a downward dog
Make sure hands are directly under the shoulders, and get into your plank by pushing through your palms. Shift weight towards your legs and stick bum into the ceiling. Once in position, press heels to ground and enjoy the stretch in the lower part of your calf.
Foam rolling is my preferred and go-to method for stretching, especially for sore, tight calves. Foam rolling will help increase circulation to the muscle and encourage tissue to relax and release.
Mainly I use an exercise ball to lay back on it and stretch my back out after a long day of trying to retain good posture while simultaneously hovering over my laptop. But recently, I started using it for my calves.
I sit on the floor with my legs out in front of me and place the ball under my calf (between my knees and ankles) then I move my legs side to side, massaging my calf muscles. Slowly, let the ball roll up and down your leg so you can ensure you are covering the entire calf area.
Go for a percussion massage
Last but not least, and of course if you have the coin, go for a massage. Most percussion massages involve a Hypervolt that can work inside and outside the calf for as long or short as you like.
If you’re looking for other ways to get in a quick workout, here are some exercises you can do from your desk.
Photo via Origym