Sometimes, we don’t think about stretching our calves until we feel something is wrong with them. Yet calves are essential muscles in our body because they are responsible for leg movement.
You can be young, old, athletic or sedentary, leaving calves unattended, causes you to tighten up, causing pain and body problems. Balance your electrolytes, stay hydrated, and do these three Easy Calf Stretches, vital to avoiding cramps and pain.
Here Are The Three Essential Steps To Stretch Your Calves:
The next useful and easy step to stretch your calves is a downward dog position. Yoga poses inspire this, but you still must put an extra effort to get that perfect stretch out. Below are the steps to follow:
- First, you must position yourself in a high plank with both hands directly under the shoulders.
- You need to achieve that inverted V position while doing the downward dog stretching style.
- Extend your arms, keep a straight position on your feet, and raise your butt towards the ceiling.
- Press your heels on the ground while doing the inverted V position.
- The closer your heels touch the floor; the better stretch of your calves can get. It may be painful at first, but with consistency, you will get used to it.
- To stretch every part of your calves, especially the lower part of it, you need to bend your knees slightly while pressing your heels on the ground.
Lunging Calf Stretch
This is the easiest and most popular way to stretch your body. You can do it anywhere because you only need to stand straight and stretch those calves. Below are the steps to follow:
- Stand up and face the wall a foot away.
- Put your hands on the wall and step one foot back. Bend your front leg making the other foot straight.
- Put your hands on your hips while maintaining the position of your one foot in front bent, and the other one on the back is straight.
- Press down your heels and place your hands on the wall. Keep it flat so that the calves will stretch adequately.
- Note that the distance of your feet from one another, the better the stretch can be.
- When holding the stretch, you can also change the positioning of your foot (the one at the back) to stretch the calves fully.
- This is because calves differ from one person to another, depending on their movements and lifestyle.
- You can repeat all the steps on the other foot.
Standing Bent-Over Calf Stretch
The last easy step to stretch your calves is standing bent-over calf stretch. You can do this anywhere, as long as you don’t wear any tight pants preventing you from stretching freely.
This type of stretching usually come in two ways, and below are the steps to follow:
- Stand straight and press your heels on the ground.
- Maintain the position as you reach your hands on your toes.
- Your calves will stretch all the same time.
- Stand straight and press your heels on the ground.
- Bring one foot on the back and bend it slightly. The one at the front will keep a steady straight position.
- Reach your hand under the toes to stretch your calves according to your foot’s position at the front.
- If the front foot is left, you must use the left hand to reach under the toes and vice versa. Place the other arm at the back.
- Repeat on the other side.
Include calves stretching in your daily exercise routine. People who do not move that much need to stretch their calves to prevent calf tightness that can cause further problems.
Stretching your calves can be painful, especially if you are not used to it, but you will eventually get used to it as you continue to stretch your calves.
Most importantly, don’t over-stretch your calves as it can lead to severe problems.
Also, don’t overuse your calves by stretching too much. Stretch your calves until you feel you’ve die eigh but are still comfortable.
Maintain these three easy steps of stretching your calves, and you will indeed feel a considerable change in your body.
Remember, calves play a crucial role in our movement and leg muscles. So, better stretch them to prevent any problems related to calf tightness.
Other Facts About Muscle Cramps
A Charley Horse is the common name for an involuntary muscle spasm or cramp. These spasms occur in any muscle in the body, but more often happen in the leg. A muscle is in spasm, contracts without your control and doesn’t relax.
It’s a sudden, reflex contraction of one or more muscles (cramp), frequently in the legs – in the calf muscles.
It’s extremely painful, and can be frightening if you don’t understand what’s happening to you.
A cramping muscle is regularly due to long exercise or physical labour, especially in warmer temperatures. Some of the causes could be dehydration, age, or pregnancy.
There are also various other medical conditions that might also bring on the threat of muscle cramps.
A good example is a mineral deficiency or an imbalance of the biody’s electrolytes – magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium can contribute eaily towards your getting a Charley Horse attack.
A Charley Horse (reflex muscle cramp, spasm or contraction, occurring generally in the legs) is in itself, harmless, but can be very painful.
It can often waken a person from their sleep during the night. Stretching and massaging can help toward pain relief – as can hydration.
The mains reasons for the calves’ tightening is usually sitting for a long time or wearing high heels for too long. Sitting most of the day, either I the house or at the office willcause your calves to stiffen.
Wearing high heels alters the way you move and that affects the whole body, but especially your legs. This results in your calf muscles tightening up, stiffening and causing more pains.
Over or under use of calf muscles will cause pain and bring on an incident of Charley Horse.
Symptoms to watch out for are: sharp pains in the calves, difficulty of flexing toes, swelling, bruising and muscle fatigue in the calves.
If you like sports, you usually see people bending and stretching their calves to avoid calf tightness and improve their performance.
Stretching of calves is not limited to athletes alone, as people will undoubtedly suffer from calf tightness. Therefore, everyone should be encouraged to do some calves stretches.
To aid the tightening of calves, the best and affordable way to do it is stretching to reduce the calf tightness.
Static stretches should last for at least 15 to 30 seconds with three to five repetitions. Frequent stretching will keep your calves in better shape, thus improving your mobility and flexibility.
Aside from stretching, other treatments of calf pains caused by tight calves include: resting, applying ice on the calves, compression, elevation, and medications.
You can always opt for these treatments if stretching does not work for you or feel tired about it.
Nonetheless, there are certain positions to perfect the stretching of calves. It is important to observe body positions when exercising; otherwise, it will lead to muscle and joint problems.
If you’re elderly, or alone and Charley Horse strikes in the night while you’re sleeping,
If can be a frightening ordeal.
Follow the exercises, stay hydrated, ensure your electrolytes are balanced, and either don’t wear your heels so high, or wear them for a shorter time, and you should sleep through the night and be much healthier.