Calf Stretch

The Calf Stretch exercise, performed with a straight leg targets the larger gastrocnemius muscle. This is because the gastrocnemius originates above the knee, and inserts via the Achilles tendon into the back of the heel. Therefore, it crosses both the knee joint and the ankle joint.


By keeping your knee straight this enables the gastrocnemius to stretch. If you bend the knee however, then the gastrocnemius is taken out of the stretch. As a result, the bent knee calf stretch targets the lower soleus muscle more.

How to perform a calf stretch

  • Place your hands on the wall and step forward with the foot you are not stretching
  • Keep your toes pointed forward and your back heel on the ground and lean into the wall without bending your back knee
  • Hold the stretch for 2 sets of 30 seconds
  • Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times throughout the day
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