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Help me with this calf stretch.

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  • Help me with this calf stretch.

    So Mark posted this link San Francisco Crossfit: Your Calves Are Tight, Bro last week in response to a reader's question about not being able to squat without falling over. I sort of have that problem as well. So I've been trying the stretch described in that article, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right.

    It says to hold your breath, contract your muscle, and lean into the wall for 5 seconds, then exhale and lean into it more for 10 seconds. When I exhale and lean into it more, I don't actually feel any difference. When you stop contracting the muscle after the initial 5 seconds, are you supposed to feel the muscle relax? Because I don't. I don't becuase it's already in a stretched position...I don't know, it's weird. I must be doing it wrong.

    Also, is it okay to readjust the position of your foot in between cycles, or are you supposed to keep your foot up the entire time?


    My journal

  • #2
    Sounds like you're doing it correctly. It says to get in the stretch position first, then contract the muscle (press foot into wall) for 5 seconds. Then, stop pressing to relax the muscle and try to lean farther into the stretch for another 10 seconds.

    This is a type of PNF stretching based on the theory that after contracting the muscle it will be able to elongate more than a basic stretch. The amount of extra range achieved by the technique is going to be highly variable depending on the individual, so you might be getting some additional stretch but not to the degree that you're actually feeling the difference.

    Keeping your foot up in between cycles would probably be more effective because that increases the total time under tension of the muscles.