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4 Calf Stretches for Runners

As a runner, it’s always important to take care of your calves.

Not only do strong calves give you better running form and more power, they also help stave off a slew of common injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, calf strains, and even plantar fasciitis.

4 Calf Stretches for Runners!

4 Calf Stretches for Runners!

So how do you go about keeping your calves in tip-top shape? Stretching, of course!

By incorporating a variety of calf stretches into your workout routine, you can make life easier for the lower leg muscles that sometimes seize up after overuse or other underlying factors. These stretches are often both easy and effective exercises, and we’ve gathered five simple ones that you can easily within the comfort of your own home.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Goldbaum believes that calf stretches, such as the ones listed below, play a key role in keeping runners healthy and moving.

These stretches are:

Step Drop Stretch

For this stretch, all you need is a slightly elevated edge, such as a street curb or stairway step. First, place the ball of your foot on the end of the ledge. Then, slowly drop your heal down while keeping the ball of your foot on the step. As you bring your heel down, be sure not to force it further than it wants to go. Your goal is to eventually be able to have your heel touch the ground, but it’s ok if you cannot go that far early on. If possible, do this this stretch with a friend for added support and balance. However, once you get the hang of it, you should be able to do this stretch without any assistance.

Towel Pull

For this stretch, all you will need is a common towel. While barefoot, sit with your legs straight out in front of you and your knees locked. Then, wrap a hand towel around the ball of your foot and hold each side of the towel. Next, slowly lean back while pulling on the towel, making sure to keep your back straight throughout the process. When you feel a slight burn in your calf muscle, hold to stretch.

Straight Leg Calf Stretch

For this stretch, all you will need is a wall and some open floor space. First, stand facing a wall with your arms straight in front of you and your hands flat against the wall. Then, keep your right leg forward, foot flat on the floor, and extend your left leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Next, lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. This stretched can be performed this stretch daily and up to three times a day if your calves are tight.

Downward Facing Dog

You won’t need to be a yoga expert to pull of this basic stretch. First, gegin in a plank pose (laying flat on the ground) with your hands under your shoulders then lift your pelvis up making a “V” with your body. Spread your fingers wide. Then, work on bringing your heels toward the ground while allowing your heels to flare out slightly wider than your toes. Next, reach your sits bones, on the bottom of your pelvis, high to the ceiling to increase the stretch. To deepen the stretch in your calves, try treading lightly by pressing down on one foot while bending your other leg. Hold a few seconds per leg and then switch.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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