Your calf muscle is located at the back of your leg. It attaches to your heel bone through a strong tissue called the Achilles tendon (heel cord).
Sometimes, because of overuse, overexertion, or having too tight calf muscles, your Achilles tendon can become inflamed, causing Achilles tendonitis. Stretching your calf and its tendon may help prevent injuring them.
You can do the following Achilles tendon stretching exercises after warming up to stretch your tight calf or Achilles tendon.
Calf Stretch or Achilles Tendon Stretch Using Towel
- Sit on the floor with your leg – the side that you want to stretch – straight in front of you.
- With a towel looped around the ball of your foot, gently pull onto the towel toward you until you feel a pain-free stretch on your calf.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Standing Calf / Achilles Tendon Stretch
- Put your hands against a wall (like doing a push onto a wall) at about your eye level.
- Move your leg back with your heel touching the floor. Slightly turn your foot inward (the side that you moved back).
- Your other leg is bent as you slowly lean forward toward the wall.
- Keep leaning until you feel a pain-free stretch on your calf and Achilles tendon.
- Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat the procedure, this time, with your other leg.
- You can do this several times a day.
You can learn more about exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon from your personal physical therapist. Your therapist can provide you with a comprehensive list of exercises including Achilles tendon stretches and strengthening exercises.