GENERAL INFORMATION, STRETCHING, STRENGTHENING AND ERGONOMICS OF THE
THE LEG, ANKLE & FOOT

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Calf Stretch (Gastrocnemius Stretch)
All three images below display effective ways to stretch your calf muscle.
(1) The first image shows a standing stretch against a wall. Keep your feet straight (with a slight angle outwards) and lean forwards where you should feel a stretch at the back of your leg. Remember to keep your back foot flat on the floor and straight.
(2) The second stretch shows a gentle stretch with a towel (or other pulley). Gently pull up toward your body causing a stretch to the calf muscle..







Soleus Stretch
The soleus muscle is a deep calf muscle that does not cross the knee joint. The key to targeting your soleus is to bend your knee.
Stand with both arms against a wall and both feet planted on the ground. Twist your back foot slightly outwards and bend both your knees. Concentrate on feeling a stretch through the back leg by adjusting the bend of the knee in your back leg.



Foot lift (Dorsiflexion) Stretch
Both images display two effective ways to stretch your foot locally in an upward direction. The first image displays kneeling with your toes flat on the floor and your weight applied to your legs (keep your feet aligned with your leg!). The second image is a more gentle stretch applying an upward force with your hand.
















Foot Pointing (Plantarflexion) Stretch
Kneeling with your toes pointed flat and the top of your foot planted as close to the floor as possible. The weight applied to your legs should be enough to cause a stretch (keep your feet aligned with your legs).



Ankle Outward and Inward Stretch (Inversion & Eversion Stretch)
To perform this stretch you simply place your foot on the floor and gently turn your foot outward and hold a stretch then slowly turn your foot inward and hold.



Foam Roller Calf Muscles
Seated on the floor with your hands supporting your body (as shown), place the foam roller under the calf muscle you want to work with the opposite crossed over the top of it. Gently roll the foam roller up and down your calf muscle for 1-5 minutes.



Ankle Dorsiflexion & Plantarflexion (Resistance Band)
(1) Dorsiflexion: Secure the band to an object at ankle level and sit with legs straight with the band wrapped around your mid-foot as shown (the band running straight away from your foot). Gently pull your foot up towards your body as high as possible and then return to the starting position.
(2) Plantarflexion: Secure the band around your mid foot as shown and grasp both ends of the band with your hands (in the seated position with legs straight). Gently plant your foot forwards as far as comfortable then return it to the starting position.












Ankle Internal & External Rotation (Resistance Band)
(1) Internal Rotation: Secure the band to an object at ankle level (on the same side as the ankle you are exercising) and sit with leg straight (ankle adjacent to point of resistance) with the band wrapped around your mid-foot as shown. Gently rotate the foot away from the point of resistance (foot rolling outwards from the body) and then return to the starting position.
(2) External Rotation: Secure the band to an object at ankle level (on the same opposite as the ankle you are exercising) and sit with leg straight (ankle adjacent to point of resistance) with the band wrapped around your mid-foot as shown. Gently rotate the foot away from the point of resistance (foot rolling inwards from the body) and then return to the starting position.














Calf Raises
This exercise can be performed with the weight of your own body or with some weights added.
With a bar bell: Hold a bar bell securely across the back of your shoulders as shown. Gently raise your heels as high as you can and then gently place them back on the floor.