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A Better Way to 'Stretch' Your Calves | Ep. 85 | Movement Fix Monday

This week on Movement Fix Monday I want to continue with the theme of 'what to do instead of static stretching'.

First of all, I know it's Tuesday this week that I am releasing this video and it's called Movement Fix Monday. I am a day late. I have been working hard on another project, the Health Fit Business Podcast and was in San Fran all day yesterday recording episodes of that. You can check that out here.

Calf stretching is frequently done with the intention of improving ankle mobility, which is required in the largest amount during squatting. So let's just cut through all the jargon and operate under the premise that we want more ankle range of motion during squatting.

With that said, here is the flow I show in the video and why each movement is included:

The Calf/Ankle Flow:

  • Roll out calf on foam roller for 30 seconds
    • Here we are doing this not to break anything down, but to reduce muscle tension
  • 10 reps of ankle joint mobility drill
    • Here we are trying to groove the movement in the ankle by using this drill
    • To see more specifics about this drill, click here.
  • 10 reps each leg of ankle lowering drill
    • This is done to lock in what it feels like to load your ankle joint through a greater range of motion
    • To see more specifics about this drill, click here.
  • 5 reps of a goblet squat or light back squat
    • Do these to now take that range of motion and incorporate it into the actual lift

Always a Surprise

It is always a surprise to me how much time is spent by athletes working on their ankle range of motion in isolation. What I mean by isolation is they spend time doing drills to improve the range of motion (I am guessing because they want that range of motion available in a squat) but they never use it after they gain it!

I wish it were so easy that you just did a mobility drill and it magically became available in your pattern of lifting and moving. But we aren't just a collection of joints and muscles that can be loosened and tightened and then magically it all comes together.

We have a nervous system that has to be taken in to account. When you make a joint easier to move, that doesn't mean you will automatically adopt a new pattern and way of loading a joint.

That is why it's so critical to follow the steps I show in the flow.

I hope you are finding these blog posts helpful. Let me know if you are liking these 'what to do instead of stretching' posts. I am trying to bring a lot of concepts together in a very useable way so that it makes these videos and posts immediately effective for you.

Thanks for reading,

-Ryan