Stretching Series – Calves

Hi friends :D.

I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful comments about my engagement!! I’m still so incredibly happy and get giddy every time I look down at my finger.

I wanted to continue the stretching series today with a post about the calves!

In case you’ve missed the previous stretching posts, you can find them here:

Hip Flexors

IT Band

Quads and Hamstrings

Our calves actually consist of two different muscles – the outer gastrocnemius muscle and in the more deep muscle called the soleus.


The gastrocnemius muscle functions in standing, walking, running, and jumping and its main action is to flex the knee and the ankle. The soleus muscle flexes the ankle and is vital for running, dancing, and walking. It’s important to note that when we use our calf muscles the soleus is the first one to become active and thus often takes more of a beating than the gastrocnemius.

Calf Stretches

1. Lunging straight leg calf stretch (can do this with hands against wall or just standing without support)



2. Step calf stretch (can do one leg at a time as well)


3. Seated calf stretch – either with a band or pulling with your hands



4. Soleus stretch


5. Downward facing dog


For this stretch make sure to keep your knees straight and try to press your heels into the floor in order to feel the stretch in your calves.

6. Downward dog variation


For this stretch, get in the downward facing dog pose and then place one foot behind the other and press down on the ankle. This will allow a deeper stretch of the calf!

I desperately need to do all of these stretches because my calves are soooo tight after running stairs the other day!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great Sunday!


What is your favorite way to stretch your calves?

How has your weekend been? Have you done anything exciting?




About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on November 27, 2011, in Stretching. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I need to be doing pretty much every single one of these all day right now. My calves are soooo sore after yesterday’s half. Dang those hills!

  2. This post was perfect for today! I did a bunch of calf raises TWO days ago, and mine are still so sore. I want to do some foam rolling with them also… not sure if that will help though.

  3. Eeek! Congrats on your engagement! Downward dog is one of my favorite stretches. I try to do it each morning to get the blood moving.

  4. I love learning about what the muscles do. I always do the standing stretch at work because I’m standing the whole time. And I can’t wait to do some downward dogs in yoga tomorrow!

  5. Downward dog is an absolute cracker of a calf stretch, love it !

  6. I love stretching my calves. Because of running, they always feel a little tight! I usually bust out in a calf stretch in public. Haha. My weekend was great, congrats again ๐Ÿ˜€ I would be staring at my finger allll the time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I like down dog variation, but I squeeze in #1 or #2 sometimes in random places, mainly the elevator at work.

  8. Great post! I will be doing this stretch for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I am horrible at stretching! (As in, I never do it!!). Ha, ha. So thank you for posting this! I’m going to try them!

  1. Pingback: Spreading the Love | The Lean Green Bean

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