Increase Flexibility with Calf Exercises

Calf exercises increase flexibility in the tendons and muscle group located on the back of your lower leg, most notably: gastrocnemius and soleus. These muscles are used when you bend (flex) your foot and leg at the ankle. They are used for such common actions as standing, walking, running, and jumping. They are essential muscles for movements you make with your feet and ankles every day. Stretching these muscles will give you increased flexibility and reduced stiffness in your ankles.

This exercise for the calf is called, simply, the Calves Stretch. This is one of the more difficult stretches to learn. To do this exercise, stand with your hands on a wall and your arms extended. Stagger your feet, with your right foot one or two feet behind your left foot. Start with your back upright, your right leg straight, your left leg slightly bent, and your right heel on the floor. Gently lunge forward at the hips until you feel your upper calf muscle (gastroc) pulling. Hold that for half the time, then bend both your knees, keeping your right heel on the floor, till you feel a pulling in the lower calf muscle (soleus). Hold this for the other half of the time, then relax for a few seconds. This is one rep. After completing the specified number of reps, do the same exercises with the left leg back.

Keep These Things in Mind

Don't hold your breath as you perform the stretches. Employ smooth, even motions throughout the exercise; don't jerk or bounce to stretch the muscles. Concentrate upon and try to feel the specific muscles being stretched. Try to relax surrounding muscles as you stretch the calves. Remember— anti aging that works requires you to work at anti aging.

Watch this video for further explanation and demonstration of the Calves Stretch—


After completing the calf exercises, move on to the quadriceps exercises.