Just finished a great workout but find your calf muscles are now feeling a bit sore?
Maybe you just had a recent injury and want to start getting your calf muscles healing.
The secret to successfully exercising your calf muscles is to understand that muscles work in pairs. When one muscle tightens, the other must relax. Calf muscle stretching exercises can help you to relieve some of the stiffness you may be feeling and help you recover from your sore calves.
If your calf muscles limit the amount of exercise you can do, you may want to concentrate on the first one as this is likely to be easiest.
If you are experiencing significant levels of pain or suspect a medical condition you should always seek medical advice first before doing any exercises.
Apart from these exercises it is important that you keep yourself fully hydrated and if need be take an electrolyte replacement if you have recently been exercising.
Likewise, you may find that a hot bath will help soften your calf muscles, if they are sore, allowing them to relax.
So long as your calves are sore and there is no underlying injury you may find that massaging the calves may help relieve some of the pain you are feeling.
Here are my top seven best exercises for calf muscles stretches and exercise if you have sore calves.
Sitting Calf Stretches
In the early stages of a sore calf muscle it is important to be careful not to overdo your stretching. For this reason, I like to sit on the floor for this exercise with my back against the wall.
- 1. Sit with your legs flat on the ground, side by side, pull your toes towards your chest
- 2. Hold for a few seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort) then relax
- 3. Do these fifteen times
- 4. Next remain sitting while you tuck your knees up towards your chin with your feet flat on the ground
- 5. Lift your toes upwards
- 6. Hold for a few seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort) then relax
- 7. Do these fifteen times
Lower Deep Calf Muscle Stretch (Soleus Muscle Stretch)
- 1. Stand facing a wall about one pace distance from the wall.
- 2. Bring one-foot half way to the wall keeping the soles of both feet on the ground
- 3. While keeping the soles of both feet flat on the ground, the front knee is then bent forward towards the wall, making your body move closer to the wall, until the stretch can be felt in the back leg
- 4. Hold this position for about twenty to thirty seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort) then relax
- 5. Do these three times
Upper Outer Calf Muscle Stretch (Gastrocnemius Muscle Stretch)
- 1. Stand facing a wall about half a pace distance from the wall.
- 2. Place one-foot close to the wall with the ball of the foot (the sole of the foot closest to the toes) leaning against the wall forming a triangle with the foot, floor and wall
- 3. Keep the back foot on the ground
- 4. Bend both knees while keeping your back-foot flat on the ground
- 5. Hold this position for about twenty to thirty seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort) then relax
- 6. Do these three times
Stretching Using A Step
- 1. Place one foot on the top edge of a step with the other foot firmly on the ground
- 2. Use the rail to support yourself
- 3. Lower the heel that is hanging over the edge of the step towards the ground
- 4. Hold for about fifteen seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort) then relax
- 5. Do these three times on five occasions during the day
- 1. Stand straight with your arms downwards (pointing to the ground) while holding dumbbells at your sides
- 2. Stand on tiptoes and walk for about one minute while keeping your back straight
- 3. Do these three times a day
Eccentric Calf Raises
- 1. Stand with the balls of both feet on the edge of a step using the rail to support yourself
- 2. Slowly push yourself upwards on the tips of your toes.
- 3. Hold for about fifteen seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort)
- 4. Lower your feet to the horizontal position
- 5. Next slowly lower your heels below the level of the step
- 6. Hold for about fifteen seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort)
- 7. Return your feet to the horizontal position
- 8. Repeat these ten times on three occasions during the day
Double Leg Calf Raise
- 1. Stand facing a wall about one to two feet away from the wall
- 2. Make sure that your feet are in alignment with your hips with your entire leg vertical to safeguard your joints
- 3. Stand on tiptoes while keeping your stomach muscles pulled in
- 4. You should aim to lift yourself vertically ensuring that your back is straight at all times
- 5. Hold for fifteen seconds (depending on your level of pain and discomfort)
- 6. Lower yourself to the floor
- 7. Do these five times on three occasions during the day
These seven exercises should help to stretch and strengthen your calf muscles providing you with some relief from any soreness or pain that you may feel as well as helping to ensure a fast recovery.
Keep yourself hydrated and ensure that you get a good balance of electrolytes. You may find that taking a hot bath may ease your muscles. CAUTION: By hot water I don’t mean scalding, dangerously hot. That would just be ridiculous.
If you are able to obtain the services of a masseuse you may find having your calves massaged helps tremendously.
As always, your health is your responsibility so take care of your body. If you have any doubts about a sore calf muscle it is best to seek professional medical advice to determine what you can and cannot do. As the old saying goes - “better safe than sorry”.