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14 essential calf stretches to loosen up your lower legs

Regular stretching of the Calf muscles can prevent shortening of the important muscles. In modern everyday life, shortened calf muscles result from common activities such as constant sitting, so stretching should be included in the training plan. In addition to calves, you should regularly stretch other leg muscles such as the hamstrings, the abductors, or the adductors . In the following article you will find numerous exercises to stretch your lower legs.

The calf muscles are made up of numerous muscles. Nevertheless, two muscles are in the foreground when it comes to calf training or stretching. These are the large twin calf muscle, the gastrocnemius muscle, and the soleus muscle). The following exercises are suitable for a different training stimulus, so that the front, the back or the side part can be stretched with priority.

The following exercises are suitable for a different training stimulus, so that the front, the back or the side part can be stretched with priority.

1. Sitting calf stretching by touching toes


Sitting calf stretch by touching toes is a popular exercise for stretching calf muscles. In this exercise, athletes get on the Floor in a seated position. The legs are fully stretched out in front of the body. At the same time, the back is upright at the beginning of the exercise. Now athletes bend forward with a straight back to touch the tips of their toes with their hand. While doing this, the leg on the floor remains fully extended to stretch the back side of the leg. Alternatively, athletes can stretch both sides simultaneously by touching the toes of both feet with their hands.

2. Calf stretching on stairs

If you want to stretch your calves at home, you can use stairs for this purpose. This will allow you to increase the range of motion and stretch.

First, stand on two different steps. The feet only touch the respective stair treads with the balls of the feet. The heels hover in the air. The body is completely upright and the gaze is directed forward. Leg is almost fully extended.

To create a stretch in the back leg, now move the heel down. There you can hold the heel so that the back calf is stretched. Then change sides.

3. Lung Calf Stretch

To perform the lunge calf stretch, get into a lunge position. The front leg should only be slightly bent, the back leg is fully extended. The upper body is upright and the arms are at either side. For a stretch in the back calf, shift the weight to the front standing leg and make sure that the back heel stays on the floor.

4. Stretching the calf muscle lying with a band

To stretch the calf muscle lying down with a band, lie on your back. Your legs are about hip-width apart. Wrap the exercise band around the foot whose calf you want to stretch. Your upper body is straight and your gaze is directed upwards. Your arms are almost fully extended with the ends of the exercise band. First, slightly bend your toes and pull them towards your body. Then you give way with the leg and bring it into a bend. Then push the band away with your foot and bring the leg back into an extended position with a stronger stretch in the calf area.

5. Calf muscle stretch sitting with the band

When stretching the calf muscle sitting with the band, first sit upright on the floor. Put the band around one foot and hold the ends with both hands. Your upper body is completely upright and your gaze is directed forward. Now pull the toes of the foot slightly toward the body to stretch the calf. Then release tension and bring the leg into a slightly bent position while the unstretched leg lies loosely in a comfortable position.

6. Calf stretching on bench

Calf stretching on bench is possible in numerous places. While athletes use a weight bench in the gym, a chair, bench and the like can be used at home.First, stand in front of a weight bench facing away from it. The back leg is fully extended, the front foot is on the weight bench. You walk with your upper body forward and reach under the foot on the bench with the hand on the same side of your body.

To intensify the stretch in the calf, you should now stretch the respective leg while stretching the calf on the bench and keep the hand on the foot.

7. Toe press against the wall

The toe press against the wall has the advantage that this can be done anywhere. In the following section there are two different variations of this stretching exercise.

Stand about one step in front of a wall. The front leg is fully extended, the toes are initially loosely pressed against the wall. The standing leg is firmly on the floor. The entire body is upright and you press against the wall with both hands. To get a comfortable stretch in the calf muscles, press the heel down toward the wall and tense the calf.

In this variation of the toe lift you stand only a few centimeters away from the wall. Your upper body is again straight and the back foot is firmly on the floor. The front foot is also on the floor. However, your toes are pressing against the wall and are slightly up. Now, to create a stretch in the calf, consciously press the toes against the wall and tense the calf.

8. Calf stretching while leaning against the wall

To perform the calf stretch while leaning against the wall optimally, you should stand more than one step away from the wall. Now lean forward with a straight body without your feet leaving the floor. The hands are in front of the head so that the arms press against the wall and hold the entire body. The feet must be on the floor with full surface and the legs are fully extended, so that automatically there is a stretch in the calves. Consciously press the heels to the floor to create even more stretch.

9. Calf stretching on the calf block

With a calf block or aerobic stepper, not only is exercising the legs perfectly possible. At the same time, they can also be used to stretch the calves in different ways.

For calf stretching on the calf block, stand about one step away from the calf block. Both feet are facing forward. The back foot is firmly planted on the floor. The upper body is completely upright and the gaze is directed forward. Now position your front foot with the ball of your foot on the calf block. To create a comfortable stretch in the back of the lower leg, you now tend to press the heel down.

In this variation of the calf raise on the calf block, you stand with your supporting leg on the calf block. The entire body is completely upright. The ball of the foot of the rear foot rests on the calf block. Now press the heel down to increase the stretch. You can then switch sides.

10. Calf stretching in starting position

Calf stretching in start position is similar to the beginning of an athletic running race. You first stand in a lunge position. Now bend your upper body straight forward so that it hovers parallel above the floor and touch the floor with your hands in front of your front foot. The back leg is fully extended and the foot must be fully touching the floor, the front leg is bent. For more stretch in the back leg, press the heel and/or toes more on the floor.

11. Reverse toe press

The reverse toe press is a stretching exercise for the lower legs that you rarely see. After all, the focus is on stretching the front or side of the lower leg. To do this, stand up straight with the foot of the front standing leg firmly on the floor. The back foot only touches the floor with the toes. For a stronger stretch you can now move the back of the foot even more towards the floor.

12. Stretching the lower legs with the theraband

The stretching of the lower legs is particularly intensive if you combine calf stretching in a lunge with a theraband. You stand in lunge, the front leg is slightly bent and provides the necessary support. The back leg is almost fully extended. While you maintain an upright stance with your upper body, there is a theraband attached behind you at the front ankle. For an intense stretch in the calf, shift your weight forward without lifting your feet off the floor. To further increase the stretch afterwards, you can pull the toes of the front foot upwards.

13. Foot Rotation to the Center

For the center foot twist, first get into a comfortable sitting position on the floor. Support yourself with your hands behind you and make sure your back is upright. Both legs are extended forward. The toes point slightly outward. To stretch the lower legs, turn the tips of the feet as far as possible toward the center.

14. Sitting toe stretch

For the seated toe stretch, sit on the floor. Your legs are almost fully extended in front of you, toes pointing vertically upward. Your upper body is upright and your hands are flat on the floor behind your back to stabilize your posture. Now, to effectively stretch the lower legs, you should slowly move your feet forward. This is done by lowering your toes and trying to touch the floor with them, while the heels remain in the same place. As you move your feet in the other direction as well, a continuous stretch can be created.

Keep reading: 7 Simple adductor stretches and flexibility exercises

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14 essential calf stretches to loosen up your lower legs


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