The Ultimate Stretch for Tight Calves and Hamstrings

This is the swiss army knife of any tension in the back of the leg, from the achilles to calves to hamstrings.

If you struggle with the downward dog, forward fold, back rounding in the deadlift, or any position that involves bending at the hips, this is going to be absolute 💵💵💵 for you.

Instructions:

  • Keep the back flat. We’re moving at the hips here, not rounding the spine. 👍🏼
  • Place your foot on a block or stack of books. These are my favorite yoga blocks, for the record. The ball of the foot behind the big toe and the ball behind the pinky toe should be in full contact.
  • Spend at least two minutes in the stretch. Your body needs time to adapt to the new position, and research shows two minutes to be right around the sweet spot.
  • Go within 70-80% of your range. If you can’t hold the stretch for two minutes, you’re probably going too hard.
  • Explore your range of motion in the stretch like a rainbow. 🌈 Don’t be a robot. 🤖
  • Be active in the stretch with isometrics, ramp up slowly pressing your foot into the block to about 50% of your max effort. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Then try to lift your foot off while reaching your belly button forward.
  • If you feel good, repeat for 2-4 sets.

Here are some general principles to follow when stretching:

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