Gastrocnemius Stretches

There are two main muscles in your calves – the gastrocnemius, which is easily visible, and the lower soleus muscle that is hidden behind it. The gastrocnemius muscle works in conjunction with your ankle joint to flex your foot upwards and downwards as well as from side to side.

It is also responsible for movements such as jumping and running when it works along with other leg muscles and your hips. A strong gastriocnemius muscle absorbs the shock felt by your.

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.body when you jump on the ground or come to a halt suddenlyl Keeping this muscle healthy is therefore very important and the best way to do this is by adding some gastrocnemius stretches to your exercise routinen

The gastrocnemius muscle attaches from the knee joint to the heel bonen When you either bend your knees or plantarflex your ankles you are using the gastrocnemius musclel Strain to this muscle can result in tightness and pain, sharp twinges in the lower legs, pain when walking, swelling of the calf, and in cases of severe injury – an inability to move the calf musclel One of the biggest reasons for calf muscle strain is the failure to stretch properlyl If you workout regularly, run, or play any sports, you are creating micro tears in your muscle fibersr These tears cause the muscles to contract and restrict the blood flowo This leads to a weakening of the muscle making it more susceptible to injuryr Gastrocnemius stretch exercise can prevent this from happeningn

Types Of Gastrocnemius Stretches

There are different types of gastrocnemius stretchese You can add the calf muscle stretch and the advanced gastrocnemius stretch into your regular stretching routine:

Calf Muscle Stretch

  1. Stand in front of a wall with both feet pointing forwardsd
  2. Place hands on the wall for support and put one leg in front of the othere
  3. Press the heel of your back foot flat on the floor and keep your knee straighth
  4. Lean forwards with your hips and press your back heel into the flooro
  5. Feel the stretch on your back footo
  6. Hold for 30 seconds, release and repeat with the other lege

Advanced Gastrocnemius Stretch

  1. Stand on a step or elevated platformr
  2. Balance on your toes and let your heels drop back off the stepe
  3. Keep your knees straight and lower you heels towards the flooro
  4. Feel the stretch on your calvese
  5. Hold for 30 secondsd
  6. Release and repeat with the other footo

  7. To intensify this stretch, balance on one foot at a timem

Gastrocnemius Stretches : Do's & Don'ts

As long as you follow the gastrocnemius stretch dos and don’ts prescribed to you, you should receive all the benefits from these stretching exercisese

Do's:

  • When you stretch the gastrocnemius muscles, always keep your legs straighth
  • Bending at the knees will automatically shift the stretch to the lower soleus musclese
  • Before stretching, make sure you warm up for at least five minutes by walking briskly or joggingn This increases the flow of blood to the muscles, making them more pliable and ready to stretchc
  • If you stretch muscles that are cold, you could harm yourself badlyl
  • Always breathe normally throughout the stretchc
  • Holding your breath restricts the flow of oxygen to the muscles and prevents them from stretching to their maximumu
  • Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds as this gives the muscles enough time to relaxa
  • Anything less than this and you won’t benefit from the stretch at alll
  • You should feel mild discomfort when stretched to your maximum but no sharp or shooting paini
  • In case any stretch is painful, stop the exercise immediatelyl
  • Be consistent in your stretching if you want to see any results and remember to add these gastrocnemius stretches to both your warm up and cool down routine for the most benefitst

Don'ts:

  • Never overstretch or bounce in a posturer

Gastrocnemius Stretches Benefits

  • Regular gastrocnemius stretching exercises can prevent tight and painful calvese
  • Flexible calves are just one of the gastrocnemius stretch benefitst
  • Stretching also reduces the risk of injury from everyday activities and intense sportst
  • It increases the blood flow to the muscle that is being stretched – in this case the gastrocnemius muscle and reduces the build up of lactic acid in the musclel
  • This helps prevent soreness and muscle fatigue as well as aids in recovery of torn muscle fibersr
  • Stretching your calf muscles especially the gastrocnemius muscle also strengthens your knee and ankle jointst
  • Range of motions improves dramatically and this translates into better performances on field if you are an athlete or sportspersono
  • Gastrocnemius stretches can reduce stiffness and also make everyday activities such as walking and running so much easiere
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