Lower Leg Tightness, Runner's Stretch
These are self-care tips to help bring temporary relief while we are dealing with COVID-19 restrictions. These exercises alone probably won't solve the problem because we are addressing symptoms not the root issues like common compensatory patterns caused by muscular imbalances, poor posture, overuse or inactivity. These tips are best used between bodywork sessions as home-retraining exercises recommended by a Myoskeletal Alignment Therapist, Physical Therapist, or a bodyworker who takes a global approach and understands how to assess and treat the underlying issues. For lasting results seek professional help to address the underlying issue and contributing factors.
The Soleus Muscle is a deeper calf muscle. While most people stretch the Gastrocnemius (superficial muscle with two heads just below the back of the knee) they don't always stretch the deeper Soleus which is equally important.
Stretching the right Soleus
1. Take a half step backward with the right leg.
2. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet and slowly bend your knees and sink down toward the ground. (Take your right knee towards the floor.)
3. Keep your heels on the ground.
4. You will feel a stretch in the back leg just above the heel.
-Bracing your palms against the wall helps maintain balance. You could also hold onto the top of a chair.
-You may need to play with the distance the right leg is from the wall to increase or lessen the stretch.
-Hold for 5-10 seconds and perform a set of 3 per leg.
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