Because the calf muscles are so potentially powerful, it takes a frequent, persistent stretching program to improve overall calf flexibility. Since the calf is getting worked every day as you walk, run, and climb stairs, stretching it briefly once or twice a week is not enough to make a significant change. In fact, I recommend that if you really want to open up new territory in flexibility, you should stretch your calves five or six days each week. It is especially helpful to give the muscles a good, long stretch—at least a minute, if not two—after you've worked them. After they have been contracted by work, say after a run or walk, the muscles are warm and fatigued, ideal conditions for stretching. If you wait to stretch muscle tissue until after it's worked and contracted, it can cool off in a shortened position and gradually lose flexibility. So reserve a few minutes after your workout, or at the end of a day if you've been on your feet a lot, to stretch your calves.
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Independent health researcher with a BA Hons. and an MSc in Psychology. Currently battling to complete a PhD...wish me luck.
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