This post is a continuation from yesterdays installment on stretching out the calf. While performing the stretches, you may have felt pressure/pain in the joint itself versus a pull in the muscle. This can be caused by a tight ankle joint where the motion is restricted there versus up in the muscles and tendons. This is common following ankle sprains or even repetitive use from impact sports such as running and jumping. To work on improving that mobility, I’m going to take you through a series of joint mobilizations that will work on both the ankle and knee (since the large calf muscle, the gastroc, crosses both you’ll need to work on both). To perform these techniques you’ll need a piece of elastic tubing or a friend to hold a rope/stretch strap. The tubing or elastic band is cheap and can be found in the fitness section at Target, a sporting good store, or your local PT practice. You will also need a towel roll or tennis ball to work on the upper calf/behind the knee.
Here is a video demonstration of the techniques. Remember- this should NOT hurt. Unlike the stretches where we were looking for a 20-30 second hold, for these were looking for repetitions- shoot for sets of 10-20.