What this exercise does.
The calf consists of 3 main areas:
- Gastrocnemius (outer calf)
- Soleus (inner calf)
- Achilles Tendon (attaches heel to calf)
Elastic, flexible calf muscles can soften the shock at the first point of impact - your foot and ankle region.
1. Stand with hands against wall, arms outstretched and elbows straight.
2. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, toes of right foot slightly turned inward, step back 1 to 2 feet with right leg, heel, and foot flat on floor. You should feel a stretch in your calf muscle, but you shouldn't feel uncomfortable. If you don't feel a stretch, move your foot farther back until you do.
3. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
4. Bend knee of right leg, keep heel and foot flat on floor.
5. Hold position for another 10 to 30 seconds.
6. Repeat with left leg.
7. Repeat 3 to 5 times for each leg.
As you age, your muscles tighten and range of motion in the joints can be minimized. This can put a damper on active lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal motions. Tasks that used to be simple, such as zipping up a dress or reaching for a can off of the top shelf, now become extremely difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.
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