3 Great Calf Stretches

Daily Health Solutions
on April 8, 2011

A flexible calf muscle and Achilles tendon will keep you from putting too much pressure on your plantar fascia. And if your plantar fasciitis lingers, there’s a stretch that will help that, too. The calf and Achilles stretches below are from Dr. Bob Baravarian, director of the University Foot & Ankle Institute, in southern California. The third stretch, for chronic plantar fasciitis, works better than shockwave therapy, a standard treatment for the condition, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. People in the study did the stretch three times a day for eight weeks.

Calf  Stretch

  1. Stand facing a wall, using your hands to support you.
  2. Place your right leg behind you, keeping your knee straight and your heel on the ground. Make sure both feet are facing straight ahead. Slightly bend your left leg at the knee. Feel the stretch in your right calf muscle.  Hold for 30 seconds. Do two to three times; switch legs.

Achilles Tendon Stretch

  1. Stand facing a wall, using your hands to support you.
  2. Place your right foot slightly behind your left foot. Bend both knees, keeping your heels on the ground, and putting a little more weight on your back leg. Make sure your feet face straight ahead. Feel the stretch deep in your right calf muscle. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat two to three times; switch legs.

Plantar Fascia Stretch

  1. While seated, cross your affected foot over the knee of your other leg.
  2. Grasp the toes of your injured foot with the hand on that side and pull them towards your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch..
  3. Using the thumb on your other hand, massage along the plantar fascia to stretch it. (The fascia should feel like a tight band on the bottom of your foot.)  Hold the stretch 10 seconds. Do 10 times, 3 times per