The calf muscles are located at the back portion of the leg, below the knee. This muscle is actively used in all our leg movements like walking, jumping and running. It is important to have flexible calf muscles so that all our leg activities can be carried out without any difficulty.
Tight Calves Can Cause Acute Pain
If you are a sports person and play games that involve running, you should exercise your calves appropriately so that they can withstand the pressure on the legs while running. If the calves are not strong and elastic, the pressure of running will fall on the feet and ankle and this can cause acute pain in the ankle joints.
Even if you are not a sports person, it is equally important to exercise your calves so that they are flexible. As a result, your ankles will be free of pressure while walking, jogging or skipping.
People whose calves are not flexible may experience a feeling of tightness in the back portion of their legs. This is a very uncomfortable condition as it prevents the victim from performing even simple daily leg movements smoothly. Any extra movement can aggravate the condition and cause acute pain. In the case of sports people, proper medical attention is needed to rectify tight and painful calves. The physiotherapist might give a deep massage that reaches the calves or help the patient to stretch and relax the calves appropriately to loosen the muscles.
Stretching The Calves Improves Their Flexibility
One of the best ways to keep your calves flexible is by stretching them regularly. This means that you allow them to elongate to their maximum length. Some effective stretching exercises which specifically benefit the calves are bending the knee backwards so that you can feel a light pull or tug at the calves. You can also sit with your legs stretched out against a wall. In that position, you must push against the wall with your feet till you feel your calves being lightly stretched. Any stretching leg exercises which help you to experience a light pull at the calves can be done to make them stronger and increase their elasticity.
However, you must follow some basic rules while stretching the calves. First of all, you must always stretch them only till you experience a light pull at the muscles that your body can comfortably withstand. You must never overstretch your calves as that can put a lot of strain on the muscles and even cause them to tear.
Also do not try to improve their flexibility suddenly at a single stretching session. Instead, exercise regularly and slowly increase the intensity of the stretching exercises. That way, flexibility will improve gradually.
Internet Is A Good Source Of Stretching Exercises For The Calves
Another important rule to follow is that you must always warm up before stretching your calves. This includes light exercises like bending the legs at the knees or rolling the ankles at the joints. Warming up the calves is essential as that prepares the calf muscles for the active stretching exercises. You can check the internet for stretching exercises which are specially meant for the calves. Many sites have videos that demonstrate the exercises for viewers to follow them easily.
However, you must remember to stop the exercises if you experience any discomfort while doing them. Also, if you feel any pain in the calves, you can give a break of a day in between to relax the muscles and again perform the exercises on alternate days.
If you have not done stretching exercises for your calves before, then you must include them in your exercising session immediately. Stretching exercises will not only make your calf muscles strong and flexible, they will also shape and tone them up. This is especially for women who like to flaunt a good pair of legs. Regularly stretching the calf muscles is essential to keep their legs in good shape.