Your feet, ankles, and calves are pretty important no matter what your favorite sport and even to simply stand in place. More often than not, we tend to neglect these parts until or unless something goes wrong. If you’re experiencing any pain or strain, it’s time to mobilize those calves.
Since your calves provide a stable foundation for all of your movement, strengthening them can relieve any pain or discomfort you’re feeling. Here’s a simple exercise you can do almost anywhere to strengthen the back of your calf, Achilles, and tibialis posterior, and improve your mobility.
1. You’ll need a tennis ball or a foam roll.
2. Sit down on the floor with the non-performing leg bent at the knee and the leg you’re stretching straight out.
3. Place the tennis ball under your leg at the back of your ankle to elevate your leg a little.
4. To really get a deep stretch, cross your other leg over to add weight.
5. Roll the ball around under your leg until you find the spot that’s causing pain or discomfort.
6. Once you’ve pinpointed the spot, wave your foot up and down to really work at those muscles.
7. Spend 10 to 15 seconds on that spot, then move the tennis ball to another spot that needs work. Repeat until you’ve covered the pain points all the way up to the back of your knee.
8. You can also perform this exercise with a foam roller to give more weight to the areas with discomfort. Place the roller under your leg at the spot, cross your other leg over, and lift your bottom off the floor with your hands.
9. For the most intense exercise, you can even do this with a barbell at the gym.
10. Perform your calf mobilization exercise for 2 minutes a day every other day.
This intensive calf mobilization exercise is excellent for increasing the mobility of your ankle and reducing the chances of repetitive use injuries. This is particularly important for those who enjoy running or CrossFit activities, in addition to other sports.
Physical therapy lets you naturally manage pain and discomfort, and also strengthens your muscles while reducing your risk of injury. Pleasantview Physiotherapy Clinic is here to help you move past your pain and enjoy life to the fullest.
Contact us today to schedule a session with a licensed physical therapist and get started on the road to recovery.