Calf Muscle Gastrocnemius Stretch
What muscles does the calf gastrocnemius stretch target?
Both of the above make up the majority of the bulk on the backs side of the lower leg.Tightness in the calf muscle group will lead to a variety of foot and lower limb pains.
How to perform stretch:
Stand with both feet pointing forward
Bend your front knee and keep you back leg straight with the heel slightly off of the ground
Lean forwards while lowering your back heel to the ground
You should fell the stretch around the thickest part of your calf muscle
Gastrocnemius is the major calf muscle that arises above the knee joint and extends below the ankle joint, and as such plays role in both knee and ankle movement. It has two heads, the medial and the lateral. Its action involves extending the knee and bending the ankle downwards. With these actions, it plays an important role in pushing the foot off the ground during walking.
Soleus forms the inner part of the calf. It arises below the knee and is involved only in ankle flexion.
Both these muscles form the Achilles tendon, which inserts into the posterior side of the heel bone (calcaneus).
Plantaris, also known as the “Monkey Muscle”, also crosses two joints: the knee and the ankle and performs the same function as Gastrocnemius.
This stretch is especially effective in relieving tightness in the calves and/or Achilles tendon. It should be performed after sports involving leaping, jumping, hurdling, climbing uphill etc.
It is also recommended after aerobics or Step dance class.
People who wear high heels also benefit from regular stretching of their calves.
Regular Range of Movement:
The ankle should be stretched to the maximum limit. One should be able to feel the compression at the front of the ankle and the stretch in the calves.