Why Are The Calves So Difficult?
- Very Tight In Most People
- Difficult To Stretch The “Inside”
I’ve always had really tight calves. I don’t know why. When I used to do sports I would, almost all the time, get a cramp in that area. I thought: “this is really getting ridiculous; I’ve got to fix this problem”. I started with the usual…”massaging with a ball”, a baseball, and doing the even more usual and not so spectacular “wall calf-stretch”. It did work–at least, up to a certain point it did.
The thing is that my calf felt better; but I just couldn’t get rid of an inner tightness, inside the calf, inside,somewhere I couldn’t reach my target, not with a traditional stretch at least.
It was supposed to work–I did exactly what they said in those videos, youtube videos, that they put on those websites, fitness and health websites, made by those “experts”, fitness experts, that talk with such confidence, so articulate they could sell you anything–I was disapointed. They didn’t know enough, I thought.
Limitations Of The Traditional Wall Calf-Stretch
- Doesn’t Stretch The Inner-Calf
- Not Strong Enough To Go Deep
The wall calf-stretch is a great stretch, don’t get me wrong. It works great. I’ll put a video below on how to do them, for sure. You’ve probably done them, already; you just didn’t know it was called that.
Massaging before any stretch is vital, of course. We know that by now. But the one thing we don’t know, most of us, is how to stretch the inner-calf. I don’t know the technical term. When I talk, I talk from experience, so, I think in termes of sensations that I had.
And the sensation that I had while working with my calves was one that told me that–I needed to stretch inside. I didn’t know what. I didn’t know how it was called! All I knew, was what was needed to be done, so I did it. You can feel this inner tightness in the calves sometimes when you stretch the hamstrings (placing your leg straight, on a chair and bending forward) I looked and looked, all over the internet…searching for some answers to my questions.
Nothing…nothing was to be found until, I stumbled upon “the single-leg Downward Dog Pose”. Finally, I had found the exercise that would fix my problem. It was out of this world! Not only does this stretch affect the calves but the whole leg as well: from the feet all the way up to the buttocks.
I’m thinking: this is great; I have my arsenal ready now, to attack this issue head-on–I will massage the tissue first (with my baseball) let it relax, and release the trigger-points that I find; next, I’ll do the “boring” wall calf-stretch; and… finally end it with my super new stretch The Single-Leg Downward Dog Pose.
As I’m saying that to myself; I mentally prepare for the task at hand, already knowing that it’s not going to be a peace-of-cake (experience teaches you that). Nothing is free in this world. And progress always comes at a cost; and in this case…the cost is pain.
What Makes The Downward Dog So Unique?
- It’s The Only Stretch I Know That Stretches Deep Enough
- It Stretches The Whole Leg
I knew I was in for something big–an exercise that works the whole leg, and you know how the legs are important in any energetic-work, they are the foundation of your being after all; a stretch that would put me in an unfamiliar position (head upside-down, standing on one leg), a feeling I wasn’t too keen on having; and it was my understanding that the extremeties are usually very painful, the more you get closer to the extremeties the more pain you’re likely to experience, the hands, the feet, the neck and head: those are the terrible spots, and the calves were obviously going to affect my feet, so I was prepared.
Anyway the good news, for me, for you in the future, was that my method worked. I just felt, after I did the exercise, more stable on my legs, stronger,able to run better, and…more confident as well. My legs thanked me after that. And what makes it better is that I know it’ll work for you too. Just remember the following, and you’ll be fine:
- massage calves with baseball (or any hardball)
- Stretch with Wall Calf-stretch
- Stretch with Downward Single-Leg Dog Pose
Downward Dog Stretch: