This is an advanced standing strengthening exercise which targets the gastrocnemius muscle of the calf with assistance from the soleus calf muscle. This exercise should only be attempted after successfully achieving the non-weighted Single Leg Calf Raises. The gastrocnemius muscle is responsible for pointing the foot downward or plantar flexion of the ankle joint as well as flexing the leg at the knee joint.
A golf ball is the ideal size and density for massaging the under surface of the feet. Daily walking and standing coupled with uncomfortable footwear can often lead to sore feet at the end of the day. This golf ball exercise will work to reduce muscle spasms, increase flexibility and improve blood flow.
Incorporate this exercise into your training programme or simply leave a golf ball next to the couch under your work desk to perform this throughout the day.
The toes assist in ambulation and movement such as walking, running, jumping, etc. Toes also function to improve balance, support bodyweight and propel you forward. A great way to reduce fall-risk potential and improve mobility is to ensure the toes are agile and flexible. Hands-on mobilisation of the toes improves the overall health of your toes.
Don’t forget to give all your toes a good inspection during this exercise. Look for any damage to the toenails and check for cuts, blisters or rough skin. Visit your local podiatrist for evaluation and self-care instructions as needed.
Muscles of the anterior compartment of the shin work primarily to lift the foot upwards towards the shin. This is a critical movement for walking and running. Inefficiency of these muscles often causes “shin splints”. Regular stretching and strengthening of the shin muscles will reduce the likelihood of injury.
If you have any significant knee issues or surgical repairs, then opt for the Shin Muscle Stretch - Standing and give this one a pass.
Passive stretching is a technique that aims to lengthen the musculo-tendinous tissues with the use of some sort of external assistance such as a towel, resistance band, bodyweight or even a training partner. Experts typically recommend avoiding passive stretches just before physical activities, using them instead as a cool down or recovery day tool.
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