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We’ve all experienced calf tightness. It happens from time to time after running, working out at the gym, or going on a hike or walk. You don’t have to be an athlete to experience it. When that achy tightness sets in, you want a solution that is easy and helps you feel better.
This inexpensive tool is portable and works on all parts of your body. For sore calf muscles, the roller can massage the muscles and help you feel some relief. Depending on how you adjust the position of your leg, it can work the inner or outer muscles. It might not always provide instant relief every time you use it, but the more you use it, the better your calves will feel.
The muscles located in the calf are complex, much more so than most people think. In fact, three muscles make up the calf group: the Achilles tendon, the soleus, and the gastrocnemius. Foam rollers can help reduce muscle soreness and promote strength and mobility.
Here are some exercises you can do with the foam roller to keep your calves feeling good:
Achilles heel release
Put your heel on the roller and gently apply pressure. Point your toes back and forth to help loosen up the Achilles tendon that runs up the calf.
Start in the same beginning position as the first exercise and move the foot from side to side. Be sure to keep control of your heel so it doesn’t slip off the roller. To do this cup the roller with your hand.
The gastrocnemius is the largest of the calf muscles. While seated with your legs extended on the roller and toes pointed at the ceiling roller, roll the calf over the roller using medium pressure. Do this for 30 seconds on each side.
Short calf release
Start in the same position as the previous exercise and rotate the leg toward the other leg. You’ll only move the roller about three inches over the thickest part of the calf.
Get on your hands and knees and bring one knee toward your chest. Place the roller under the shin and, using light pressure, roll the muscle next to your shin bone over the roller, flexing the toes. Do this on each side about 20 times.
As with any kind of movement or stretching, if you start feeling any discomfort, stop immediately. Finding the right type of roller might take some work. If the roller is too soft, you won’t get the healing benefits of the massage. If it’s too firm, it might hurt too much to get the massage you need to feel relief. For the perfect roller, try the MojiHeat Foam Roller. This foam muscle roller combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of therapeutic heat.
Just remember, foam rolling is an outstanding tool that many athletes use to keep their muscles limber and stretched. It can take time to get the desired results though, so be patient. The tighter the muscle, the more work it’s going to take to loosen up.
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No matter what level at which athletes compete – from pee-wee football to high school basketball and marathon running – injuries are almost unavoidable. While concussions have been the focal point of the media, other less life-threatening injuries are just as apparent, if not even more common. In fact, according to 2013 report by Safe Kids Worldwide, strains or sprains, fractures, and contusions and abrasions are the top three most frequently occurring sports-related injuries in athletes ages 6 to 19.