Do you struggle with tight calf muscles, Achilles pain, or Plantar Fasciitis?
If so, calf stretches are some of the best exercises for loosening calf muscles. They are a critical component of an overall flexibility program for runners.
When combined with the seated calf stretch with a towel, you can really improve the flexibility of your calf muscles and reduce calf tightness. However, there are several Medi-Dyne ProStretch tools and their alternatives that are much more helpful in reducing heel pain.
In this article, I’ll cover my personal arsenal of running tools, how to use calf stretchers, and what are the benefits of using these tools. I’ll also share with you tips and exercises to treat and prevent heel pain.
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The Top 3 Recommended Calf Stretchers
Benefits of the ProStretch Calf Stretcher
What is the Difference Between Medi-Dyne ProStretch Original, Double and Plus?
Other Recommended Calf Stretchers
The Professional wooden slant board by StrongTek is another tool I highly recommend for those who struggle with plantar fasciitis, Achilles pain, shin splints, calf strains, and other injuries.
I recently added a slant board to my home workout equipment list as we used it during my physical therapy and my physical therapist recommended it as something every runner should own. Since getting mine, I agree.
It is a great option if you want a higher degree of stabilization, more options on the stretch angle, or you want to stretch both calf muscles at the same time. The slant board allows me to get a feeling of a deeper stretch and since it does not rock, it is a bit easier on my knees.
However, I use both the StrongTek slant board and Medi-Dyne ProStretch calf stretcher. Using these tools helps me with stretching the Plantar Fasciitis AND the calf.
How to Exercise with the Medi-Dyne ProStretch?
- 1Tip: Not shown, but I put my non-stretching foot on a small wooden box or step (to keep both feet level when starting the stretch) and then place the calf to be stretched in the ProStretch. Be sure to have something to hold on to in order to steady yourself.
- 2Placing all your weight on the side to be stretched, lift your toes while rolling back so your toes go up, and apply the stretch to your calf muscle.
- 3Hold for approximately 15-30 seconds and then relax. Be careful to not overstretch. You want to apply tension, not pain when stretching.
- 4Repeat for several repetitions of each calf muscle and as often as needed to increase flexibility. I recommend 2-3 times per day. (I actually keep it next to my desk at work as a constant reminder to use it.)
The following videos demonstrate some of the exercises you can do using the ProStretch:
If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles pain, or various forms of tendonitis, then calf stretching with Medi-Dyne ProStretch can be a great way to help alleviate the pain and start your rehab process. Often you will need to combine stretching, strength training and integrate that with smart training principles and workouts in order to fully eliminate these types of overuse injuries.
If you want to combine stretching with runner-specific strength training AND have it integrated with your training plan, consider checking out my PaceBuilders training program. I work with a lot of athletes who have problem areas like tight calves and/or running injuries.
Additional Running Resources
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