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> Exercises for calves and feet for cleaver runner 

Exercises for calves and feet for cleaver runner 

Publish date 29.08.2022

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Exercises for calves and feet for cleaver runner 

When you are running, your calves and feet are working very hard. Unfortunately, these parts of your body are often neglected and are often the cause of injuries. This makes it impossible to work on better running techniques. 

Most runners run from the heel. However, the best technique is to run from the midfoot. If you want to know more about these techniques, click HERE. To run properly, you need to strengthen your muscles. This is one of the basic principles. If you don’t, you can injure yourself badly: Achilles tendinitis, inflammation of the plantar aponeurosis or even you can end up tearing muscle attachments. 

Every smart runner works on their running technique every day to prevent early mentioned injuries and so that training will bring better results. If you want to develop your skills and move in the right direction with your training, then you need exercises. They will be essential to avoid injury and strengthen your muscles. 

Want to know some exercises that will help you achieve this effect? In this article, we will show you interesting and useful exercises for calves and feet

How will calves and feet exercises help you? 

  • lighter, more enjoyable, and faster running;
  • increased strength;
  • stronger rebound;
  • better stabilization;
  • easier execution of uphill runs and climbing mountain paths, 
  • elegant calves, 
  • prevention of such injuries as Achilles tendinitis or inflammation of the plantar aponeurosis.

Exercises not only strengthen your muscles, but also stretch them. 

I am a runner and want to do exercises for calves and feet, but I am afraid of muscular and large calves. What can I do about it?
You should not worry about it. Why? Strengthening exercises are characterized by more repetitions and low loads. This, in turn, does not promote muscular hypertrophy, i.e. muscle growth. If you haven’t exercised your calves so far, then you will probably see that they become more pronounced after regular exercises for calves.

Strengthening exercises for calves and feet for every runner

Before you get to exercise, you need to know a few very important things. Because of the fact that calves are composed mainly of low-shrinking fibers, they are very strong. This is why you should exercise them until you feel them strongly. What does it mean? Until you feel a slight pain in them. The number of repetitions is an individual matter. Some people will do an exercise 20 times, others 40 times before they feel something. 

The proof that your exercises are good and effective is the soreness on the second day. if you don’t feel them, it means you need to put more effort into doing the exercises and do more repetitions 😉 However, remember that the soreness should be light, not strong so that you can’t walk. Slight pain is a good sign, but remember to exercise in moderation and exercise with caution. 

1. Lift on the toes of one leg

  • Stand in front of something you can lean your hand against to keep your balance – a wall, a table, a chair. 
  • Bend one leg at the knee, and hook its foot on the calf of the other leg. 
  • Begin to rise slowly on your toes through the midfoot. 
  • At the top, hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your heel to the ground.  

Repeat this exercise 20 times on each leg. 

2. Standing on one leg

This exercise not only will strengthen your feet, but also will allow you to work on your stability. 

  • Standing, raise one leg that is bent at the knee, so that the thigh forms a right angle with the hip. 
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and if it doesn’t challenge you, start changing the position of the lifted leg. 
  • Move it backward, to the side, forward once more. 
  • The foot that holds the weight will work even harder along with your stabilizing muscles. 
Outside stretching for calves and feet

3. Hopping on one leg

This is one of the exercises for the feet. The exercise is performed in different ways, such as jumping in place, jumping forward, and backward. 

Do exercises for 1 minute for each leg. 

4. Toe climbs

It is one of the most basic and simplest exercises. What is more, you can add this permanently to your warm-up. It prepares your calves and feels good for running. 

  • Spread your legs shoulder-width apart, straighten up and look ahead. 
  • Slowly begin to lift your heels, climbing on your toes. 
  • Raise yourself as high as you can. 
  • Hold in the upper position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your heels to the floor. 

Repeat 20 times.

5. Body weight transfer in plank position 

I guess that surely when someone hears “plank”, they have a killer exercise in front of their eyes. Although it may be hard for some people, it is very helpful. This exercise will allow you to work on the mobility of your foot. What is more, this is one of the best exercises for strengthening the muscles of the body. 

Hold this position for about 30 seconds. 

6. Lifting objects with your feet 

Do you want more exercises for calves and feet? We got your back! Start picking small objects like pens, wooden, or plastic small blocks with your foot. Beforehand, prepare yourself a bowl or bucket into which you will throw these small objects. 

Perform such exercises for both feet. 

7. Walk on heels

  • You should be upright and stand with a slight stride. 
  • Stand on your whole feet, and then begin to lift your toes of both legs simultaneously. 
  • The weight of your body shifts backward until finally, you are resting only on your heels. 
  • March 5 steps back and forth, and then returns to the starting position. 

Repeat this exercise 10 times. 

You should do these exercises for 1 minute on each leg. 

8. Stretching the Pilates of rehabilitation band with your foot 

For this exercise, you need Pilates or rehabilitation bands. 

  • Hook the band over one foot. 
  • Grasp the ends of the band in your hands so that it is already pre-stretched with the foot straight. 
  • Slowly lower the foot so that it is in the point position, counteracting the resistance provided by the band. 
  • Then lift it back toward you when you come back. 

This exercise will strengthen the toe’s long extensor muscle, as well as the tibialis. 

Repeat this exercise 20 times for each leg. 

9. Standing on a sensorimotor cushion

Exercises on a sensorimotor cushion are excellent primarily, for improving stability and engaging the deep muscles more strongly. However, standing on such a cushion is equally demanding on the feet and other muscles. A lot of muscles are working during this exercise to keep the whole body in balance. 

As a beginner, try to balance on the cushion while standing on it with both feet. The next step is to move to stand on one leg and then the other. 

If you are advanced in this kind of exercise, then you can stand on one leg while changing the position of the raised leg: forward and backward. While doing this, bend your knees, lowering your center of gravity – it will be easier for you to maintain your balance. 

Stretching exercises for the calves and feet of the runner

Stretching the muscles of the feet

  • Squat down and support yourself with your hands, distributing your body weight between your hands and toes. 
  • Bring your thighs and calves together. 
  • Lower your knees to the floor to stretch the soleus fascia.
  • Sit with one leg contracted and the other straight. 
  • Grab the toes of the contracted leg and start pulling them backward. 
  • Standing shoulder-width apart, begin to spread your toes so that each toe is slightly away from its neighbor.

Calf stretching 

We have for you two exercises: 

  1. Exercise for stretching the gastrocnemius calf muscle,
  • Stand facing the wall, extend one leg forward and rest the foot against the wall. The heel should be placed on the ground,
  • Rest your weight on the back leg, which is slightly bent,
  • Begin to shift your weight forward while simultaneously straightening your back leg. 
  1.  Exercise will help stretch the calf sheath muscle.
  • The starting position is practically the same, except that the torso is to be bent forward from the very beginning,
  • Stretching is done by moving the body weight forward while bending both legs at the same time.

Do not forget about the recovery!

After performing the above exercises, your muscles will need recovery. Auto-massage with a foam roller or a special ball helps with recovery: 

  • With a roller, you will massage your calves thoroughly;
  • With a ball, you will take care of your foot.

Move the roller or ball slowly, focusing on particularly tense areas. This means that when you feel a sore spot, you need to hold the massage device for about 30-60 seconds. After this time, the muscles should relax and no longer hurt.

Now you know a lot of exercises for calves and exercises for feet. Thanks to them, you will be able to strengthen your muscles and run more easily. Have fun running and exercising! 

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