Tight calves are one of the downsides of regular regimented running and leads to a multitude of problems, tendonitis being a major one. Getting your heels, high off the floor (you are almost on your toes) and then, consciously placing the heels back on the floor, by releasing the calf contraction brings great stretch and release to your calves. We are basically using “contract-relax” version of PNF technique, where it becomes easy to stretch a muscle more deeply after contracting it. Stretching the soles of the feet at the time of placing your heels down gives a good stretch to the calves and at the same time helps stretch the arch of the foot (highly recommended for one with flat foot problem). These calf stretches help in strengthening plantar flexors that are connected to Gastrocnemius & Soleus muscles.
The attached video focuses on specifically isolated calf stretches. The role of both the muscles of the calf (gastrocnemius & soleus muscles) is chiefly to raise the heel during walking, running or jogging. This is one of the simplest and most the effective practice to relax your tight calf, heal your Achilles tendinitis as well as plantar fasciitis, release knee pain (by strengthening the surrounding areas), flat foot etc.
Slower the stretch, greater the effect. Practice it to run efficiently and injury-free.
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Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.