Common Stretching Mistake Runners Make

Common Stretching Mistake Runners Make

Here is another post from the draft folder of EFI.

It targets runners but it applies to anyone that does calf stretching.

~ Rick


I just wrapped up the Injury-Free Running course, and one great little point came up during the class.

==>  CLICK HERE to watch the video a Common Stretch Mistake Runners Make

We had a student, we assessed her running by observing her running. Then we looked at her range of motion, functional strength, and core strength.

Then we started implementing the corrective exercise program.

When we were doing the gastric stretch, what we found was when we initially did the gastroc stretch she didn’t feel the stretch at all. Even though the results of her assessment showed it was tight.

A lot of times I end up seeing this with clients.

You see this with many people that stretch their calf, especially runners.  Many times the toe out is a common compensation strategy for the ankle to get a greater range of motion in dorsiflexion.  With this compensation, the runner avoids the part of the calf that needs to be stretched (the lateral head of the calf).

They’ll do the gastroc stretch that they usually do, and they won’t end up feeling any kind of a stretch.

Normal Calf Stretch – with right foot toed out.

The first thing I do to correct them is to make sure that that back foot is pointing straight ahead.

Right Foot Straight Ahead – For many people, this will target the calf.

Another way that I can intensify the stretch and focus more on the lateral gastroc is if I get them to bring the heel out. That ends up focusing more on that lateral gastrocs, and they oftentimes will get a better calf stretch. For many people, the lateral calf/gastrocs are tight and need to be stretched.

Toe-In – Internally rotating in the hip and focusing more on the lateral part of the calf. For many, this will lead to a stronger stretch.
Side View of the Toe In Stretch – No rotation in the back knee and the body is in a straight line.

There you go, give that a go.

The first step is to correct the client and move the foot so the toe is straight ahead.  After this correction, you get feedback from your client to see if this changes the stretch. If there still is no stretch, you can move the foot in by rotating at the hip. That will make the stretch more effective.

A program that I put together to balance out the body to help with running is called Corrective Exercises for Running Injury-free.

Rick Kaselj, MS

Achilles Tendinitis Exercise