Known as the gastrocnemius muscles, your calf muscles are some of the most important muscles in your body — especially to those who are engaging in sports and athletics. These muscles can act simultaneously as brakes and accelerators. Your calf muscles can help you push up a steep incline, slow down on the descent and so much more. So it’s probably a good idea to know how to take care of your calves.
Because it is so important to take care of your calves, you should maintain them be regularly stretching them, as well as undertaking exercises to strengthen them. Here are a few exercises and stretches to keep your calves happy.
Farmer’s Walk on Toes
While holding a set of dumbbells straight down the side of your body, rise up onto your toes and walk forward for 60 seconds. Maintain a straight, tall posture. Perform three sets each day.
Eccentric Calf Raises
This exercise will strengthen and stretch calf muscles. Stand on a step with your heels over the edge. While holding onto a rail for balance push yourself up, then very slowing drop your heels back to the same level of your feet. Do three sets of 15.
Plyometric Jump Squats
Stand straight with your feet apart — a little more than shoulder width, with the toes turned slightly outward. Put your arms straight out in front of you, squat down, pushing your butt back — all while keeping your upper body as tall as you can. If you can place your butt down below your knees, you will even give your glutes a workout! Then, explode upward as high as you can, and then land softly. Try and keep the motion controlled. Do three sets of 15.
Downward Facing Dog
This exercise will stretch the calf muscles and is a great way to limber up after a workout. Start on the knees, while placing your hands on the floor should width apart. The walk backward until the knees are no longer bent, raising your but in the air — making a triangle shape. Keeping your spine straight and not placing too much weight on your hands and arms, bend the right knee while pushing the left heel into the ground. Hold for 10 seconds then switch sides. Do three sets per day before or after your exercise routine.
Straight Leg Calf Stretch
This is a great exercise to reduce muscle pain. Stand facing a wall with your arms in front of you, hands flat against the wall. With your right leg forward, then extend your left leg straight back with your heel on the ground. Hold this for 30 seconds and then switch sides. Do a total of three sets, repeated twice.
Finally, wearing compression gear such as calf sleeves improves circulation throughout the area. Additionally, compression can help with muscles strains, along with quicker muscle recovery.
Please call us at ZeroPoint Compression if you have any questions about how compression gear can enhance your workout!