The calf muscle is located in the lower back portion of the leg. It consists of two parts known as the lateral head which is located on the outer side of the leg and the medial head which is located on the inner side of the leg. The calf is responsible for two joints’ movements. At the knee joint, the calf is responsible for bending the knees in and out. At the ankle, it is responsible for pulling the heels up and down.
Stretching is very important before any muscle activity. It helps prevent injury and helps increase the range of motion of the muscle. When the muscle is warmed up, it is given the ability to work 100% effectively without being exposed to injury.
It is very important that the Calf muscle is warmed up and stretched before doing any activity on it. When it is tight, it limits the motion around the ankle which limits the range of motion of the foot; consequently the foot has to pronate so that it can walk effectively. Pronation causes a lot of pain to those who suffer from it. Decreasing the amount of Pronation leads to less wear and tear to the foot.
Before stretching the desired area, it is better to warm it up first. This will increase the blood flow going through the legs which in turn results in better stretching. The muscle’s temperature is also increased which makes it more elastic.
There are many stretching routines that help warm up the calf muscle and increase its range of motion. The first step is to warm up. This is done by standing on a stair’s edge and raising the heels up and down repeatedly at least 15 times. Each time should take 1 second up and 1 second down. If 15 repeated motions are very hard, you can start with 10 or less until you gain the required strength that allows you to do the exercise. During the exercise, you will feel the muscle become warm and more flexible.
After warming up, stand on the edge with one leg. Lower the heel of that leg and hold for about 15 seconds. The purpose of this exercise is to keep the tension on the muscle for the whole 15 seconds. While doing this exercise, do not bounce so that you can avoid injury. Stretching is never painful, so if you ever feel any pain while doing these exercises, stop and seek advice from a doctor or physical trainer to learn how to do the warm-up correctly.
After completing the previous routine successfully for about two weeks, you should increase the intensity of the exercise. This is done by changing the routine slightly with different iphasis on the muscle. Stand on the edge with one leg as described before, but this time you will raise your heel up instead of lowering it down, sustain the position for one minute. Again, if you feel uncomfortable doing these routines or you ever feel pain while doing thi, contact you doctor immediately. It is recommended to wear well-fitted shoes with supportive orthotics in order to do the routines efficiently.