Sitting down with both feet on the floor, stretch one leg out in front of you. Your calf muscles rarely get a break. If you participate in activities that use your calf muscles, stretching after a warm up and after heavy activity may be beneficial. Keep your calf muscles healthy by stretching them regularly. Rotate your ankle in a circle, moving either clockwise or counterclockwise, for 5 seconds. You can also lean your upper body forward, keeping your back straight, and move your torso toward your thigh while simultaneously keeping your foot flexed. Stretching Your Calf Muscles When Sitting Down, Dr. Peggy Malone: Stretch Your Calves: Why This Is So Important for Everyone, Runners World: How to Stretch Your Calf Muscles, Dr. Ben Kim: How to Prevent and Treat Achilles Tendonitis, American Council on Exercise: Seated Calf Stretch. You will feel tension on your gastrocnemius muscle in the back of your calf. ... Flex your toes toward your head and pull the resistance band toward you to increase the stretch on your calf muscles. Protect your tailbone by placing a floor mat on the ground. If sitting in a chair, sit near the edge so you can straighten your leg completely. Provide enough force so that your feet do not actually move, but stay in place. Sit on the mat or in a soft, comfortable chair. Hold your position for 15 to 20 seconds. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, earned credits toward a licensure in traditional Chinese medicine and is a certified Pilates and sport yoga instructor. Although not technically a muscle, the Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle group to your heel. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. You use them to walk, run and jump. Sit towards the edge of the seat with your back straight and both legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Sit up straight and extend your leg. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Bend your knees slightly and flex your feet. Repeat on the other side. Isometric stretches involve working a muscle against an immovable force. Straighten your right leg, and put your heel on the floor. Slowly release the resistance band, and relax your toes. Lean forward and place your hands around the ball of your foot and pull gently so that your toes begin to point towards your body. A seated stretch, even at your desk, will keep your calves loose and limber. Hold this position for up to 20 seconds before releasing. As it is an integral part of your walking, running and jumping motions, targeting the Achilles when you stretch is also important. Hold for up to 20 seconds and repeat with the other tendon. Flex your foot as much as possible, trying to bring your toes toward your shin. You can also perform a calf stretch while sitting in a chair at the office or at home. To stretch your Achilles, sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. You can reach forward and pull on the ball of your foot, as in the above exercises. While you might not think of them as calf stretches, doing some bodyweight squats and lunges in your warm-up will help accomplish this, she says. Both stretches are essential after your warm-up and before running or exercising. Then, repeat the process but rotate your ankle in the opposite direction. Lean forward and place your hands around the ball of your foot and pull gently so that your toes begin to point towards your body. Repeat the stretch two or three more times. Christy Callahan has been researching and writing in the integrative health care field for over five years, focusing on neuro-endocrinology. Switch legs and repeat both the straight-leg and bent-knee calf stretches. However, exercises can improve circulation while you're sitting to help keep blood flowing. [1] X Research source If you don’t want to have to count, set a timer for 1 minute instead of counting out 20 repetitions. Repeat this stretch two or three times. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Rotate your ankles. Straighten your right leg, and put your heel on the floor. If you are recovering from a calf injury, follow your physical therapist's recommendations for stretches. ... You can perform the first stretch without a resistance band if you have the flexibility to reach your toes while keeping your leg … You can perform the first stretch without a resistance band if you have the flexibility to reach your toes while keeping your leg straight. Flex your toes toward your head and pull the resistance band toward you to increase the stretch on your calf muscles. As it is an integral part of your walking, running and jumping motions, targeting the Achilles when you stretch is also important. Loop the band on the underside of your right foot, just below your toes. She has contributed to "Women's Day" and "Good Housekeeping" magazines, as well as covered fitness and well-being for online publications. Grab your toes with your hands and pull your toes toward you. All this work causes the muscles to become tense; the slight rest they receive when you are sleeping or sitting at your desk is not enough to keep them flexible. Begin by sitting on the ground or a mat with your legs extended in front of you. Lift your toes toward you and bend your ankle. Begin by sitting on the ground or a mat with your legs extended in front of you. You can also perform a calf stretch while sitting in a chair at the office or at home. You can reach forward and pull on the ball of your foot, as in the above exercises. Once you feel a stretch in your calf, try to point your toes forward, against the force of your hands. Breathe normally and hold the pose for up to 20 seconds before releasing. Isometric stretches involve working a muscle against an immovable force. Lynda Schwartz is a fitness professional who began writing in 2004. Schwartz holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and health promotion. Your calf muscles, comprised of the soleus and the gastrocnemius, are important in your bipedal motion. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions and then repeat with the other ankle. Once you feel a stretch in your calf, try to point your toes forward, against the force of your hands. Chair Calf Stretch. Hold the stretch for 3 seconds and lower your foot back to the floor. Blood clots can develop following extended periods of sitting. To isometrically stretch your calf, begin in the same position as the above-mentioned stretch. Sit towards the edge of the seat with your back straight and both legs bent, feet flat on the floor. You can also perform a calf stretch while sitting in a chair at the office or at home. Stretching Your Calf Muscles When Sitting Down. Hold the ends of a resistance band with both hands. Bend one leg until your heel is close to your buttocks and place your heel on the ground. Use your hands to pull your toes, at the ball of the foot, toward your body. By Lynda Schwartz. Bend your legs and place your hands on the balls of your feet, using your hands to move your toes back towards your shin. Flex your foot as much as possible, trying to bring your toes toward your shin. Bend your right knee until your heel sits near your butt. As such integral muscles, they are prone to injury if not properly strengthened and stretched. Although not technically a muscle, the Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle group to your heel. Set the resistance band aside. This forward motion gives you a greater stretch in the back of your calf and thigh. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, and feel the tension in your soleus muscle. After all, they move your feet and play a major role in allowing you to stand upright without falling over.