Calf stretch, standing

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What it’s good for All stretches help to lengthen spe­cific muscles, keep­ing the body in bal­ance, pre­vent­ing par­tic­u­lar muscles from becom­ing very tight and crampy, and keep­ing you more flex­ible. Tight calf muscles can be pain­ful and make it harder to walk prop­erly
How often to do it Daily – sev­eral times, if your muscles feel very tight
Equipment you’ll need A wall
  • Stand facing a wall, feet hip-​width apart and just about a foot length away from the wall
  • Place palms on wall, wide and about shoulder height, for bal­ance sup­port
  • Slide one leg back­wards away from the wall, until you can only just keep the whole of your foot com­fort­ably on the ground
  • Bend your front knee and ease your bot­tom in towards the wall. As you do this you should feel the calf muscle (back of lower leg) tight­en­ing in the leg that you slid back­wards
  • As soon as you feel the tight­ness in the back leg, stop and hold steady for the right amount of time (click here for guidelines for stretch­ing), breath­ing through­out
  • Step the back foot for­wards to your start pos­i­tion, and repeat with the other leg

Standing leaning on wall with one leg lengthened behind for calf stretchhTIPS
♦ Imagine your feet on two par­al­lel rail­way tracks, and be sure to keep them both on their tracks when you are slid­ing one leg back­wards. This way you will feel more bal­anced and less pre­cari­ous as you hold the stretch
♦ You may not need to bend your front knee or slide your bot­tom very far in order to feel the stretch: stop still as soon as the back leg starts to tighten
♦ Keep breath­ing through­out!

Cannot do this at all? If you are strug­gling to feel a stretch in the right place, or feel too unsteady, or if your calf feels pain­fully tight, try Calf stretch, sit­ting instead.

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