Monday June 26, 2017

Calf stretches……..a daily affair for the dancer!

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

photo 1
First Stretch
Second Stretch
Second Stretch

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.

 

 

Third Stretch
Third Stretch

Alternatively…….
• 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.

About The Author

Sally began her career as a professional dancer which she pursued for over seven years, dancing in venues and companies all over the world. She now shares her continued love of this art form within her physiotherapy and exercise training. Sally has been with Perfectformphysio since the start of 2008 and takes an holistic, total body approach to injury prevention and treatment, allowing her to work with dancers and athletes alike at a level which helps them to achieve and maintain their greatest potential. Sally is also a qualified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Health and Lifestyle Coach and maintains a keen interest in rehabilitative exercise training and health coaching. She continues to dance regularly and perform in the Sydney Cuban Salsa scene.

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