If you’re skipping out on one part of your workout routine, it’s most likely your leg training.
To some people, warming up the calves is an afterthought (although it shouldn’t be). Sometimes, we get too focused on training the muscles on our upper halves, or our “mirror muscles” that we neglect our legs, but did you know that doing this could actually jeopardize your results?
Our legs deserve some love. Next leg day, include these four essential calf stretches so that you can warm up the right way and get the most from your workout.
1. Wall Stretch
Regularly stretching your calves can help alleviate tightness, discomfort, and pain. By adding the Wall Stretch to your routine, you’re actively allowing your leg muscles to decompress which allows for better movement and flexibility.
First, stand arm’s length from a wall and put your right leg forward, then place your palms on the wall. Reach your left leg away from your body and slowly press your heel to the floor.
You’ll hold this position for 20 seconds before repeating with your right leg. Once you’re finished, you should already feel the relief in your calf.
2. Downward Dog
This classic yoga pose is more than just a way to rewind and reset. To begin this stretch, stand with your feet together and then bend over, bringing your hands to the ground while keeping your legs straight.
Inch your hands forward until your body makes an “A” shape, then push your heels to the ground. Hold this position for 20 seconds! You should feel a deep stretch in your calves if you’re doing it right.
3. Band Stretch
These leg stretches require a resistance band, but if you don’t have one, a hand towel will suffice.
First, sit on the floor and stretch your legs out while keeping your ankles connected. Then, loop the resistance band or towel around one foot while holding each end with your hands. Pull gently on the band or towel so that your toes are reaching toward your chin; you’ll feel the stretch in your calves!
Do this on the other side and repeat for however long you’d like. This stretch is great for people who have extremely tight muscles and are looking to increase their range of motion before working out.
4. The Heel Drop
If you’re trying to bulk up some muscle on your legs, this stretch is a good option for warming up your muscles before you begin training. You’ll need a step (I use a stair-step!) or a box that will support your weight.
Start by standing on the edge of the step with your feet together. With your toes on the edge, put your weight on one leg and let gravity gently drop your heel toward the floor, but don’t step on the floor. You’ll feel the pull of the muscle instantly.
Repeat this on either side for as long as desired. It’ll warm your legs up for whatever training you choose to do next!
Trying to achieve that powerful muscle physique on your lower half? Check out this post furthering explaining how to train legs!
Calf Stretches Yield Stronger Results
Including your legs in your workout warm-up is essential to achieving desired results in both health and aesthetic aspects. If you want to balance your fitness, add these calf stretches to your routine and start seeing (and feeling) a difference now!
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