Tight Calf Muscles: Causes & Stretching Exercises

Tight Calf Muscles

Calf Structure contains of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the lower muscle are solitary. Both muscles are placed on lower leg for the back of the ankle and in the Achilles tendon. The calf is a very powerful plantar flexor due to the ankle configuration and the relatively long lever arm.

The gastrocnemius muscle comes from above the knee until above the heels, so the knee must be fully extended to stretch it out. The solitary muscle is rooted in the gastrocnemius and originates under the knee so that the soleus is not reached.

In this article will focus on Tight Calf Muscles, the causes and the importance to stretch the muscle by demonstrate different exercise that will helps you to loosen tighten.

Causes of Tight Calf Muscles

The most common way calves become too tight is the lack of ankle movement to enable dorsal flexibility and elasticity for your calves. If you can’t flex your foot (pull your toes to you), then your calf muscle won’t feel like it exists because your lack of ankle movement restrain it.

If not taken regularly through his range of motion, the calf muscle becomes tight. Our calf will remain shortened for more extended periods if we wear high heeled shoes. When the muscle is compressed, it will ultimately shorten to fit the new length.

The calf is a postural muscle. To maintain us upright, the calf must contract for long periods without tiredness.  It can, therefore, be tightened fast.

Calf muscle in athletes are strengthened if there is a complete session of stretching in training.

For Some people, tight calves may causes by hereditary factors.

Treatment of Tight Calves

An excellent way to get started is first to make sure that you have adequate mobility on your knee. Tight calves can be loosened by extending and massaging the muscles and by using instruments such as a foam roller or a massage ball to release myofascial.

The first step is to free myophastic calves so that trigger points can be removed. Tight calf is not sufficient to be fixed alone, as other muscles need as well a counter pressure to release completely. Fascia is a plate of connective tissue that stabilizes and separates the muscles, bones and organs from others.

They hug your bone too tight when your calves are tight. The fascia around your calves can release them and return to their normal state of separation from the bone, when a sufficient pressure is placed on their calf’s muscles.

If your tool, such as a foam roller or a massage ball, is used to loosen the grip of the bones, fascia can act as a lubricant for the calf’s muscles. One of the best ways to release calf tightening is stretching your tight calf muscle.

Why Stretching Tight Calf Muscles is Essential?

Stretching improves the flexibility of your calve muscle, helping you to increase your movement range. It gets tight calves by lengthening them out of their constant contraction.

It also increases the circulation of your calve muscles and connective tissues in the ankle joints by bringing fresh blood. This promotes cure and improves your calves health.

When performing regularly, stretching helps ensure that you don’t lose your limits range for motion or flexibility and you will avoid tightening your calves once you have worked on loosen them.

To move correctly and run properly, it is a vital to keep your calf muscles lengthened. You must be able to raise your foot at a certain height to stretch the muscle properly. In other joints such as the forward foot, or knee, if the ankle cannot go as far, compensatory motions must take place. This can cause toeing out, excessive pronation of the forefoot, overwhelming reverse back and excessive knee rotation, etc.

Due to these compensatory movements, injuries, tendonitis, fasciitis, and articular degeneration can occur. If additional mobility is needed for these cases, it required operation involvement.

Flexibility in the calves is imperative for any sport that takes a long time to perform, like long walking, running or jumping.

The Importance of Healthy Calves

Healthy calves grants you a better shape, more power and faster effectiveness by times as you practice. On the other hand, weak calves often leads to the most frequent diseases of the running: tendonitis of Achilles, shin splints, calves tensions, hamstring or hip problems and even plantar fasciitis.

Because your calves play such a critical role in operating mechanics, they need a lot of maintenance you should regularly stretch your muscles and perform Calf Exercises.

Calf stretching for a variety of foot and ankle problems is a vital part in rehab process. Density in the calf can influence foot position, movement and balance. Foot pain and knee pain are common causes.

The calf consists of two muscles which work in conjunction with the toes. Their primary function is to lift the foot during the push-off phase, which means that cycling athletes and runners suffer most from calf problems.

Calf muscle stretches contribute to reducing pain, strain and instability. The risk of harm or diseases such as Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis and Cramp is reduced.

You can stretch tight the calves and relieve associated pain with a combination of flexibility and massaging your veal regularly.

We start with the gastrocnemius and the soleus, the two-calf muscle, and how they work here.  We will then see how we can stretch each and how we can get the best results with the minimum efforts from stretching exercises.

Calf stretching is essential for your legs, your hips and hamstring to be stronger and less injured.

Stretching Tight Calf Muscles

When you do not move your leg in regular motion, your calves become tight over time. For example, If you sit at a desk without walking around, you will remain in one position on your knee and joints knee, which will become a weak and exposure for any future injuries.

Regular stretching can help you if you find that your calves are tight. Try to perform below exercises every day, to keep your calve muscles stretched and flexible. It make the muscle fiber lengthen and possibly decrease your pain.

Following are the most effective exercises for tight calf muscles; these exercises will surely provide relief to your tight calves. Let’s have an overview of how to perform them!

  • Wall Calf Stretch

Wall Calf Stretch

Stand about an arm distance away from the wall. Forward your left leg, and place your palms on wall at shoulders level, and then send back your right leg. Bend your left knee and press your right heel while keep your back straight. Hold on this pose for 20-30 seconds. Then switch to other leg side.

  • Wall Curb Stretch

Calf stretch foot on wall Curb stretch

Stand up few inches distance away from the wall. Place your left toes against the wall by keep heel planted on the floor, and send a bit your right leg back. Flex your left foot on the wall and press gently for 15-20 seconds. Then switch to other side and repeat.

  • Seated Calf Stretch with Band

Seated Calf Stretch with Band

Sit on the floor comfortably, or above a pillow if your legs are tight and you feel uncomfortable so that your spine remains straight. Fold your right leg in and stretch out the body’s left leg.

Wrap your left foot on the ball with a yoga bracelet or a band (or an old tie or a bathrobe belt). Use your strap to pull a band towards your torso while keeping your left heel planted on the floor. Keep pulling gently for 30 to 40 seconds, then repeat by switch to other side.

  • Downward Facing Dog Stretch

Downward Facing Dog Stretch

It is one of classic yoga pose, where it is essential to press the calf toward the ground.

Start by sit on the four, then by place and press your palms and raise up your back hips weight towards the ceiling, keep your foot planted on the floor, so you have the V-shaped body looks like.

Gently Press your heels to the ground. The closer your foot planted to the ground, the deeper your calf stretches.

Bend your knees a little as you push your heels towards the ground to stretch the lower part of your calves. Keep in this position for a round 1-minute then rest, repeat for 3-4 times.

  • Stretching tight calf muscle using a Foam roll

Stretch calf using a Foam Roll

Sit on the floor. Place the foam roller below the lower half of the back right leg. Cross over both your right-left leg. Then Push up your arms to raise your body from floor and start roll on the foam back and forth.

Roll up your leg muscle until your knee level slowly over the foam and then roll back until your heels, then repeat. Don’t cross the knee level during rolling. Do this with your toes pointing in and out.

  • Calf and Shoulder Stretching

Calf Shoulder Stretch Wall

Stand with your feet in front of a wall. Place both your palms on the wall, keep your hands apart at your shoulder width. Without locking your knees, while balance your heights, lift your toes off the floor and send your butt back as far as you can.

Hold this position for thirty seconds, then shift your weight back onto the ground.


Final Words

All these above-mentioned stretches are capable enough to cure your tight calf muscle pain.

But remember, when stretching your calf muscles, only you should feel a slight pulling. If you feel severe pain or discomfort, stop the workout and visit your doctor or physician to find the real pain cause, could be something else than just a tight muscles.

Your calf muscles can safely be stretched multiple times a day. Whenever you feel your calf is tight, give it a quick stretch to keep it loose and flexible. The best frequency to use is when you stretch your calf muscles and tendons of Achilles.

To get relief from a severe pain, you must have proper treatment from your therapist or doctor.

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