Calf stretches…..a must!
The calf complex is formed from many muscles,( Gastroc,Soleus,FHL,FDL, Tib Post , Plantaris ,Peroneal group). These muscles act to bring about movement of the knee, ankle and toes. They have a strong role in the deceleration of the lower limb when weight bearing. We also use them extensively in dance with rises, pointe work, tendues, plies and jumping work. Collective appropriate timing of these muscles is essential in keeping them healthy and preventing tightness and injury.
Below are 2 common stretches for the calf area
This first stretch is for the more superficial calf muscle (gastrocnemuis), the second has more effect upon the deeper muscles of the calf.
To get the most from this stretch
1. Ensure the back foot is parallel or slightly turned in
2. Keep the hips facing fwd
3. Increase the stretch with every exhale. Be mindful and present.
• Add a small oscillation or pulse into the stretch by moving the body forwards. Keep the heel on the floor
• Whilst leaning against a wall, move the front leg from left to right allowing the rear leg and foot to move from supination to pronation of the leg and foot. This is a great option to catch the whole calf region and even ‘wake up’ the hip.