Today’s Nature & Wellness focuses on our forgotten calf muscles. Calves can get tight because we are constantly moving around but it can also be tight due to our desk job!
Sitting too much stagnates our lower-leg joints (our ankles and knee) and limits our calf motion due to the muscle shortening. Prolonged calf tightening will affect our body’s entire mobility in the long run so it’s just not good news at all if we don’t do something about it now.
Thankfully for us, calf stretching exercises do not take much time and isn’t that taxing that you’ll be out of breath. There may be a little discomfort at first but that’s because the calves are already tight.
Here are three calf loosening stretches:
1. Self-myofascial release for the calves
This exercise loosens tight muscle fibres from constant contraction and the fascia (connective tissues) of the legs.
For those without foam rollers, roll up a yoga mat to sit on. Place the rolled yoga mat at the back of your knees and carefully sit back on your heels. The yoga mat should be in between your hamstrings and calves. It can be uncomfortable so it’s important to breathe. Do this for 5 breath cycles.
2. Loosening stretches for increased flexibility
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If you think that living behind a desk all day makes you exempt from having tight calves — think again. 🙉 Sitting for extended periods of time causes stagnation in your legs, and tight calves are not only super uncomfortable, but they can also negatively impact your overall mobility. 🙅 So if you want to be able to do what you want to, when you want to, how you want to for as long as you live, use this move from @skytingyoga co-founder @chloe_kernaghan to loosen up + ground down. 🙏 Link in bio for the full routine! ✨ // #mindbodygram #mbgMindfulMovement #stretching #yogaeverydamnday
Place a yoga block on the floor and pretend it’s like a gas pedal. Place right toes on the block with the heel on the floor. Step the left leg back to help keep the other heel grounded. While inhaling, lengthen the spine and keep the chest open. During exhaling, drop the head down and bend the elbows into a forward fold. Stay there for a few breath cycles before repeating the same with the other foot.
For a deeper stretch, use a rolled towel or blanket. Still holding onto yoga blocks for support, place toes on the rolled towel with both heels on the ground. Remember to breathe. To get up, lengthen and open the chest, bend the knees softly before rising up to a stand with hands on hips.
3. The famous Downward Dog
Get on all fours with hands under the shoulders and fingers spread for proper support. Push hips towards the ceiling and tighten the abdominal muscles. Try to keep knees straight and heels on the ground. You may not be able to do both at first but with practice, it’ll be easier and comfortable.
On another note, are you doing your burpees correctly?