Is Stretching the Most Effective Way to Boost Calf Muscle Flexibility

It is a common misconception that only physically active people experience muscle pain and they usually neglect to stretch calf muscles . Muscle strains can occur in weak and flabby muscles as they can in toned and active ones. The general thought is that muscle injury of any kind is not pleasant, whether you are a couch potato or a professional athlete.

Fortunately, there are things we can incorporate into our daily lives to reduce the chances of injury. Slight changes to an everyday routine can lead to numerous benefits when the objective is to improve muscle health. Toned muscles will further benefit the body by being able to withstand its weight and averting the pressure from joints and tendons. A combination of a regular and healthy diet, moderate daily physical activity, and just enough sunlight is advertised to be the best recipe for a healthy body. Most research has shown that stretching exercises are equally important.


Stretching and its numerous benefits

We've probably all attended P.E classes as kids, and as early as middle school, most of us had a preconceived notion that the time to stretch calf muscles is done as a warm-up before an intense physical activity, such as a dodgeball. Stretching has been in the spotlight for the past decade as the activity least demanding and most beneficial if done appropriately and consistently. Some of the benefits of regular stretching are apparent and could be felt soon after we adopt a routine, and others are less visible but equally if not more important, so why don't we start there.


Mood elevation

Stretching behaves like physical exercise in this case, where it promotes the production of endorphins, polypeptide compounds accountable for the feeling of well-being, similar to opiates. A nice feeling that overwhelms us after a strenuous workout or after a long period of inactivity is the work of endorphins and other chemicals in our brain, making us chipper and upbeat. It's also good to stretch calf muscles first thing in the morning.

Improved range of motion in the joints

It's the foundation of good flexibility to stretch calf muscles. Improved range of motion can help muscles achieve full motion potential and ultimately improve the quality of movement through daily activities. When muscles and joints reach this level of flexibility, our body has way less on its back. Literally.

Improved blood flow to the muscles and organs

Getting muscles in certain positions by flexing them, our heart increases the capacity to pump the blood around the body, ensuring nutrients are equally delivered to the muscles, cells, and organs. In addition, when the blood rushes through the body, it flushes waste products. This makes stretching the most natural and noninvasive way of rejuvenation .


A bit about calf muscles


The calf muscle is composed of two muscles that unite at the base of the calf muscle. The gastrocnemius, which is considered larger, is the visible rounded muscle in the back of the lower leg. The soleus muscle is smaller and flat and is located right underneath the gastrocnemius muscle.


Calf muscles are involved in every foot and leg movement; therefore, it is important we ensure they are flexible and healthy. The calf muscle's main role is as a plantar flexor to the ankle joint. The pressure from the larger calf muscle also translates to the knees and the spine. But even strong calf muscles get strained and pulled, usually when the muscle is stretched beyond its limits. Calf muscle injury can vary in severity, and more severe injuries may even require professional attention.

Stretch Calf Muscles to improve flexibility

Standing wall calf stretch

Start this stretch by standing one foot away from the wall, facing it. Place the toes of one foot on the wall so the tip of your foot is facing the ceiling, and push your heel to the ground. You should feel a nice stretch in the calf muscle. To deepen the stretch push the hips forward. Hold this stretch as long as you feel comfortable, or up to 30 seconds at a time.

Runner's stretch

Start this stretch on your knees, on a firm surface. Extend one leg forward, with the foot also flexed and the knee straight but not locked. Reach forward with your hands, focusing on spine alignment. This stretch should be held up to 30 seconds at a time and should be stopped as soon as pain in the calf muscle becomes intense.

Seated calf stretch

Start this stretch in a seated position, with your legs in front of you, hip-width apart. Reach for your toes and grab the arches of your feet. Pull the toes forward to deepen the stretch, and hold up to 30 seconds.


Conclusion

Doing these three stretches regularly, combined with other stretching exercises appropriate for your flexibility level and objectives, will positively influence leg and overall body flexibility. So make sure you stretch calf muscles

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