Do you know which muscle helps you climb up the stairs or run a sprint? Or even walk from one place to another? They are your calf muscles. In reality, two muscles together make up the calf muscles. One of them is called the gastrocnemius, while the other is called the soleus. Well, you may often experience a stretch in your calf muscles. Also, many people suffer from sore calf muscles, and having a sore calf or stretch in your calf muscles makes you susceptible to threatening injuries. If you are a sportsperson, you would know how important these muscles are for your running and other activities; and how painful it is to have a sore calf. But, there are many remedies available for it as well. The best among them are a few exercises and stretches that help prevent any injuries and run strongly with no worries. Here are the best exercises and stretches for your calf muscles that help you prevent sore calves and calf injuries.
Practicing jump rope
Jump rope has been one of our favorite activities since our childhood. But now, it can help you have healthy, flexible, and strong calf muscles. Jump rope compels you to hop on your toes. And, as a result, you automatically exert pressure on your calf muscles. Thus, your calves gain endurance that makes them firm and flexible. Consequently, you do not get sore calves and run better than ever.
The most effortless exercise that you can do to ensure that your calves are perfectly fine is tiptoeing. Yes, as easy as it sounds, you just have to walk on your toes. Since you will be walking on your toes, you will be exerting mild pressure on your calf muscles. As a result, they would become stronger and help you run smoother and faster. Also, it is a wonderful activity to keep away all calf injuries. And you want to raise the bar, then add some weight with the help of dumbbells. Carry them while you tiptoe, and they make your calves even more sturdy. They will be capable of enduring more strength, which will make you run more smoothly than ever.
Start with standing upright. Then place one foot in the front and hop into a lunge. Then, jump into another lunge with the other leg placed in the front. In this manner, you will have to repeat lunging through jumps. When you jump twice with each of your feet bending once, it makes one rep. Thus, in this way, you will have to complete three sets consisting of 15 reps.
Eccentric calf raising
You will need anything that is a step higher than you. It may be a low stool or even a step from your house staircase. Stand on that elevated surface while sticking out your heels. In other words, it means that your toes will be touching the surface of the elevation while your heels do not. The exercise will have to stand by pushing yourself on your toes while you stand on the edge of the elevated surface. Ensure that you push yourself up gradually and hold your position for 10 seconds. Placing your hands on your hips will offer you balance and support. Also, you need to do three reps of this exercise with 15 reps.
Straight-leg calf raising
Raise one of your feet and balance yourself on the other. Hold a dumbbell on both of your hands and raise the foot you are balancing on. It will be better if you can stand on an elevated surface on the edge of it. After you raise one of your feet, change your leg and repeat this on the other leg. Three sets are required that include 15 reps. The weight of the dumbbells will make your calves stronger.
Half-chair squat jumps
This exercise requires you to jump and sit in a squat. But, ensure that the position of the squat looks like the position attained when you are sitting on a chair. This exercise is a little more involving and physical than the rest. The jumps and the half-squats help you exert a force on your calf muscles, making them tough and sturdy. And they do not become easily susceptible to any injuries, soreness, or painful stretches.
Downward dog pose
Downward dog pose is one of the yoga poses that can help you prevent calf injuries. For the downward pose, you will have to begin with being on all your fours. Your palms and feet should touch the ground while your feet are one shoulder away from each other. Then, gradually bring your chest towards your knees while you lift yourself on all your fours. Slowly, attain the position where your spine is straight, without letting your head touch the ground. Remain in the position for 30 seconds before returning to a plank position. Repeat this three or four times. This is a great exercise, especially for runners.
Calf rolling foams help your calf muscles get rid of any tension and alleviate any sore spots present in them. All you need to do is put the foam under your calf muscles and roll it from your ankles to your knees. Put your hands beside yourself or support an ideal effect. It is similar to rolling your hamstrings.
These were the most effective and easy exercises and stretches to alleviate sore calves and prevent calf injuries. Other than these, you can readily opt for yoga. It includes stretching poses that help your muscles set free from any tensions. Also, massage therapy and physical therapy can be the most professional option to go for. You will have the supervision and guidance of professionals who will help you take care of your calf muscles. And, the massages offered to you will ideally help your calf muscles relax and function better. So, be it regular exercises or yoga or massage therapies, taking good care of your calf muscles will help you run with a thundering speed and help you remain safe from any susceptible injuries.