How to do the best calf stretches to decrease knee and ankle pain, fast! Simple at-home mobility stretching exercises to improve tight ankle flexibility! Run faster, jump higher and lift heavier with flexible and healthy ankles!
- Improve Knee Extension
- Improve Ankle Dorsi-flexion
Improve Hip Flexion
- Knee Extension (Gastrocnemius, Hamstring Complex)
- Ankle Dorsi-Flexion (Gastrocnemius)
- With your knee fully extended, place the ball of your foot on a slightly raised surface and allow for your ankle to fully dorsiflex (pull your toes up towards your face).
- Keep weight on the ball of your foot and your knee fully extended as you lean your torso forward.
- Maintain a neutral spine and lean until you feel a stretch behind your knee.
- Be active in the stretch by coming in and out of tension under control, contract-relax techniques and by flexing the opposing muscles (Quadriceps, Anterior Tibialis) to deepen the stretch.
- Increase ankle dorsiflexion
- Spinal decompression
- Hip Flexion
- Ankle Dorsiflexion (Soleus)
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes straight or turned out slightly.
- Brace your core and externally rotate (twist) your knees out during the entire movement while clenching your toes into the ground.
- Begin the motion by opening your hips and descending into a full-depth squat while keeping your feet flat.
- Only go as deep as you can while keeping your heels down.
- Hold at the bottom position for time.
- If you do not have enough mobility to get into a full-depth squat you can hold onto a solid object for balance.
- Try to accumulate at least 2 minutes in the bottom position and work up to 5-10 minutes.
- To increase the stretch you can attempt to put more weight on one side and lean over your knee.
Weighted Deep Squat Calf Stretch
- Improve Ankle Dorsi-flexion and Calf Function
- Ankle Dorsi-flexion (Soleus/ calf muscle)
- While holding a barbell, place it just above your kneecaps go into a full-depth squat.
- Ensure that your heels are down in this position, and only rise slightly as you push the weight and your knees forward.
- Move around in this position to create change, by flexing the opposing muscles and moving under control.
- You may put more stress on one side by leaning the barbell to that side or placing all the weight on one side at a time.
- Use this stretch sparingly as it is more intense than non-weighted mobility techniques.
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