четверг, 13 ноября 2014 г.

5 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Calves

5 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Calves


5 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Calves


The calves are some of the most overused but overlooked muscles in the body. And if you run or wear heels regularly (or both!) stretching your calves is a must. Too-tight calves (which are often accompanied with weak shin muscles) aren't only painful, they can lead to injuries including shin splints, calf pulls and stress fractures. Give these five calf stretches a try after your next run. Bonus: They can be done pretty much anywhere, so you'll always be ready to lace up your sneaks.


1. Wall Calf Stretch


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Stand a little less than arm's distance away from the wall. Step your left leg forward and your right leg back, keeping your feet parallel. Bend your left knee and press through your right heel (as shown). Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch legs.


2. Wall or Curb Stretch


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Find a wall and stand a few inches away. Put toes of your right foot against the wall, keeping your heel on the floor. Flex your foot (as shown) and hold for about 10-15 seconds, then switch feet. You can also do this stretch by hanging your heels off the edge of a curb or step.


3. Seated Calf Stretch


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Sit comfortably on the floor. If the backs of your legs are really tight and you find yourself slumping, sit on a pillow so you can keep your spine straight. Fold your right leg in and extend your left leg away from the body. Wrap a yoga strap or Theraband (or an old tie or belt from your bathrobe) around the ball of your left foot. Use the strap to pull your toes toward your torso while keeping your left heel on the ground (as shown). Continue to gently pull for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat of the other side.


4. Downward Facing Dog


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Begin in a high plank with your palms under your shoulders. Lift your pelvis up and back to make a \"V\" with your body. Spread your fingers wide. Work on bringing your heels toward the ground. To deepen the stretch in your calves, try pressing down on one foot while bending your other leg (as shown). Hold a few seconds per leg and then switch. Hold or alternate your feet for a total of 30 seconds. You can increase your stretch even more by lifting up one leg into Three-Legged Dog.


5. Calf and Shoulder Stretch at the Wall


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Stand in front of a wall with your feet together. Place your palms against the wall, shoulder-width apart. Rock your weight back on your heels without locking your knees, so your toes lift off the ground. Reach your butt out as far as you can by lengthening through your spine (as shown). Tuck your chin to feel a deep stretch in the back of your neck. Stay here for 30 seconds and then shift your weight forward, placing your toes back on the ground.


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Photo Credit: POPSUGAR Photograpy / Kat Borchart; POPSUGAR Studios (5)


Original article and pictures take http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2015/09/best-calf-stretches-running/ site

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