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What should I do if my calves feel tight?

A great way to decrease tension and soreness in the calves is to perform self-myofascial release on your calf muscles followed by static stretching.  Similar to massage, self-myofascial release is useful for locating and relaxing tender spots or 'knots' within your muscles that can be overactive, and when irritated will cause an increase in tension.  Self-myofascial release for the calf can be accomplished with the calf foam roll technique.  Perform this technique by using the method described below. Start in a seated position on the floor with your legs out in front of your body.  Next, place the foam roller under the mid-calf and use your arms to move your body over the roller.  Slowly roll up and down the lower leg from the back of the knee to the ankle and apply pressure on any tender spots for at least 30 seconds.  To increase pressure on the tender spots, cross the opposite leg on top of the leg you are rolling (optional).  For best results, follow this technique with the standing calf stretch.  The standing calf stretch can be performed by using the following procedure. Facing a wall, stand with your feet pointed straight ahead and in a staggered stance.  Lean against the wall with your upper body while keeping your rear leg completely straight with no bend in the knee. Maintain a straight line from your head to the heel of your back foot, while bending your arms to move your chest closer to the wall until a slight stretch is felt in back of lower leg.  Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat for a total of 1-3 repetitions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.