Skip to content

How Do You Use a Calf Stretcher? (Best Stretching Exercises)

    Are you suffering from calf muscle tightness? You can use a calf stretcher to relax your lower leg muscles. But how do you use a calf stretcher? 

    To use a calf stretcher, place the device on the ground in front of a wall. Put one foot on the calf stretcher with your hands on the wall and stand straight. All your weight should be on the calf stretcher. Then lean slightly forward and gently rock back your heel. Repeat three sets at five-second intervals. Then switch legs. 

    How Do You Use a Calf Stretcher tips

    A calf stretcher can be a useful device for when you feel tightness in your lower legs. Read on to see more details on when to stretch your calves and how to stretch your calves with a stretcher or without one.

    If you don’t have a calf stretcher, we also have some exercises you can do and some product recommendations. 

    See the products below if you are in a hurry to see the best calf stretchers and other equipment you need to relieve tightness.

     

    Exercises You Can Do With a Calf Stretcher 😀

    Glintoper Professional Wooden Slant Board, Adjustable Incline Board Calf Ankle Stretcher, 450 lbs Weight Capacity, Non-Slip Stretching Board for Home Office, Extra Side Handle for Portability

    A calf stretcher is a wooden or plastic platform device that provides a biomechanically accurate and efficient stretch to your hamstrings, calves, ankles, and foot arch.

    It releases the tightness in your calves, improves your flexibility, and prevents muscle injury. 

    Physical therapists and athletic trainers suggest calf stretchers for tight calves and pain in the heel area (Achilles tendonitis and Plantar fasciitis). 

    The following are some exercises you can do with a calf stretcher. You can check stretch your calves before running and Should You Stretch Calves Every Day for some manual calf stretches.

    Also, some of these exercises would require you to sit on the floor or on a mat to do them.

    Here are our top three high-quality non-slip mats.

    Preview
    Overall Best
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat – Premium 6mm Thick Mat, High Performance Grip, Support and Stability in Yoga, Pilates, Gym, Fitness, Extra Long, 85 Inches, Black Color
    Best Alternative
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat, Unbeatable Non Slip Performance, Eco Friendly and SGS Certified Material for Hot Yoga, Odorless Lightweight and Extra Large Size, Free Carry Strap
    Best Budget
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick 1/3'' Non Slip Yoga Mats for Women with Alignment Marks Eco Friendly TPE Fitness Exercise Mat with Carrying Strap & Storage Bag
    Product Name
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick
    Thickness
    6MM
    5MM
    8MM
    Material
    Polyvinyl Chloride
    Polyurethane, Rubber
    TPE
    Weight
    ‎0.78 Kilograms
    2.5 lbs
    2.4 Pounds
    Dimensions
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    72 x 24 x 0.31 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Overall Best
    Preview
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat – Premium 6mm Thick Mat, High Performance Grip, Support and Stability in Yoga, Pilates, Gym, Fitness, Extra Long, 85 Inches, Black Color
    Product Name
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
    Thickness
    6MM
    Material
    Polyvinyl Chloride
    Weight
    ‎0.78 Kilograms
    Dimensions
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Interested?
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat, Unbeatable Non Slip Performance, Eco Friendly and SGS Certified Material for Hot Yoga, Odorless Lightweight and Extra Large Size, Free Carry Strap
    Product Name
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat
    Thickness
    5MM
    Material
    Polyurethane, Rubber
    Weight
    2.5 lbs
    Dimensions
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Interested?
    Best Budget
    Preview
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick 1/3'' Non Slip Yoga Mats for Women with Alignment Marks Eco Friendly TPE Fitness Exercise Mat with Carrying Strap & Storage Bag
    Product Name
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick
    Thickness
    8MM
    Material
    TPE
    Weight
    2.4 Pounds
    Dimensions
    72 x 24 x 0.31 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Interested?

     

    Wall Calf Stretch 

    Wall Calf Stretch

    This stretch is excellent after a leg day as it relieves the tension in your calves and gives the muscles in that area a chance to relax. 

    • Place the calf stretcher on the ground in front of a wall.
    • Place both hands on the wall, and keep one foot on the calf stretcher. 
    • Stand straight and put all your weight on the calf stretcher. Lean slightly forward. 
    • Gently rock back your heel.
    • Feel the stretch and hold for 30 seconds. 
    • Repeat three sets at five-second intervals. Then switch legs. 

     

    Calf Stretch With Hip Rotation 

    Calf Stretch With Hip Rotation

    This stretching technique deeply stretches your calves and hamstrings at the same time.

    It allows you to relieve the pain and soreness along the back of your legs.

    • Put the calf stretcher in front of a wall.
    • Place one foot on the calf stretcher, and support yourself by putting your hands on the wall.
    • Stand straight on the calf stretcher. Turn your hips outward and hold for three seconds. 
    • Then turn your hips inward and hold for three seconds.
    • Repeat three sets. Then switch legs.

     

    Backward Stretch 

    Backward Stretch

    This stretching technique works on your calves, Achilles tendon, and sole.

    It can alleviate your Achilles tendinitis and relax your calf muscles. 

    • Put one foot on the calf stretcher.
    • Extend the other foot a step backward. 
    • Bend your knees slightly, heel to the floor. 
    • Keep your back straight and head up.
    • Extend your chest forward and straighten your knee.
    • Feel the stretch at the back of your legs and hamstrings.
    • Hold for 30 seconds. 
    • Repeat three sets and switch legs. 

     

    Best Calf Stretchers for Beginners 😍

    Best Calf Stretchers for BeginnersAs a beginner, you’re probably wondering which calf stretcher to get.

    We’ve gathered the top options in the market so that you’ll have an easier time making a decision. 

     

    Vive Foot Rocker - Calf Stretcher for Achilles Tendinitis, Heel, Feet, Shin Splint, Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief - Stretches Strained Leg Muscle - Ankle Wedge Stretch Improves Flexibility

    Check Current Price On Amazon

    It helps decrease pain due to strain, tendonitis, and other chronic conditions. 

    Pros
      • Ergonomic footplate
      • Lifetime guarantee 
      • Anti-slip rocker design
    Cons
      • Complaints about stability 
      • Not suitable for people with larger feet

    Sale
    Vive Foot Rocker - Calf Stretcher for Achilles Tendinitis, Heel, Feet, Shin Splint, Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief - Stretches Strained Leg Muscle - Ankle Wedge Stretch Improves Flexibility
    10,767 Reviews
    Vive Foot Rocker - Calf Stretcher for Achilles Tendinitis, Heel, Feet, Shin Splint, Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief - Stretches Strained Leg Muscle - Ankle Wedge Stretch Improves Flexibility
    • EFFECTIVELY STRETCH FOOT: Safely stretch either foot with the Vive foot rocker. Ergonomically designed, the gentle motion of the foot rocker evenly stretches the foot to relieve pain, improve circulation and reduce fatigue. Additionally, the foot stretcher isolates the lower leg muscles, tendons and ligaments for an effective deep stretch to reduce injuries.
    • REDUCE FOOT & HEEL PAIN: Reducing foot pain from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, ankle strain, arch pain, and other chronic conditions, the foot rocker encourages correct foot posture for effective stretching. Increasing range of motion and flexibility, the safe, even foot stretches also minimize heel, leg and back discomfort.
     

     

    Yes4all Foot Rocker – Calf Stretcher

    With its plastic construction and ergonomic design, this product provides a deep stretch to your lower legs and calves.

    Yes4All Foot Rocker – Calf Stretcher for Pain Relief with Options Available (D. Pink – Unilateral – Plastic)

    Check Current Price On Amazon

    It has a smart design that allows everyone up to a size 10 to use this device.

    Many customers are happy with the stretcher’s sturdy build and durability. 

    Pros
      • One-year warranty and thirty-day return policy
      • Anti-slip design can be used on bare floors 
      • Angled construction to ensure proper foot position
    Cons
      • Some users complain about slippery materials 
      • Complains about not being true to size 

    Yes4All Foot Rocker – Calf Stretcher for Pain Relief with Options Available (D. Pink – Unilateral – Plastic)
    451 Reviews
    Yes4All Foot Rocker – Calf Stretcher for Pain Relief with Options Available (D. Pink – Unilateral – Plastic)
    • BUILT FOR FOOT STRETCHING: Yes4All Foot Rocker is ergonomically designed with the solid plastic construction to provide a deep stretch to the lower leg muscles and the calf, improving balance, range of motion and flexibility
    • ANTI-SLIP DESIGN: Featuring non-slip treads on the surface with rubber strips on the bottom, the rocker won’t slide easily, ensuring that you have an injury-free experience. The wood option’s 400-pound weight capacity also adds extra safety
     

     

    Powerstep Ultraflexx Foot Rocker

    This product prevents and treats workout injuries by increasing flexibility and strengthening your feet and lower legs.

    Powerstep UltraFlexx Foot Rocker- Calf Stretcher for Plantar Fasciitis, Achillis Tendonitis, Calf and Foot Pain, Shin Splints- Increases Flexibility and Strength in Foot and Lower Leg- Non-Skid Bottom

    Check Current Price On Amazon

    Its non-skid design means it’s stable on all surfaces.

    However, the company recommends wearing sturdy athletic shoes when using the stretcher. 

    Furthermore, as it’s open in the front, the device accommodates more shoe sizes than average calf stretchers. However, it still doesn’t fit everyone. 

    Pros
      • Non-skid rocker bottom
      • Open-front design to accommodate more shoe sizes 
      • Lightweight and portable 
    Cons
      • Uncomfortable for people with relatively large feet 
      • Requires wearing shoes 

    Sale
    Powerstep UltraFlexx Foot Rocker- Calf Stretcher for Plantar Fasciitis, Achillis Tendonitis, Calf and Foot Pain, Shin Splints- Increases Flexibility and Strength in Foot and Lower Leg- Non-Skid Bottom
    1,356 Reviews
    Powerstep UltraFlexx Foot Rocker- Calf Stretcher for Plantar Fasciitis, Achillis Tendonitis, Calf and Foot Pain, Shin Splints- Increases Flexibility and Strength in Foot and Lower Leg- Non-Skid Bottom
    • STRETCHES AND STRENGTHENS: The stretching device holds the foot in a proper position to stretch and strengthen muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the foot and lower leg.
    • RELIEVES PAIN: The relief rocker is ideal for Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, tight calf muscles, ball of foot pain, and shin splints.

     

    How to Stretch Your Calves Without a Calf Stretcher🦵

    How to Stretch Without a Calf StretcherA calf stretcher makes it easy to stretch your calves and hamstrings, but you don’t have to have one.

    You may not want to pay for new exercise equipment, or your feet are too large to fit on a regular calf stretcher. 

    In any case, here are five easy exercises to help you stretch your calves with any equipment.

     

    Downward Dog

    Downward Dog

    This stretching method provides a deep stretch on both of your legs simultaneously. It also relieves chronic pain and increases blood flow in your lower body to release tension. 

    • Start with a high plank with your hands straight in line with your shoulder.
    • Bring your butt upwards in an inverted V shape.
    • Press your heels toward the ground. The more you press them toward the floor, the deeper the stretch.
    • Bend your knees and keep pressing your heels toward the ground to stretch the lower part of your calves.

    The key to getting a deeper calf stretch is to press your heels into the ground. It deeply stretches all along the back of your legs.

     

    Lunging Calf Stretch

    Lunging Calf Stretch

    This easy exercise stretches all along the back of your legs. It’s an excellent stretch after a long day of sitting or walking in high heels. 

    • Stand near a wall. To support yourself, place your hands on the wall.
    • Step one foot back, bend your front leg and straighten your back leg.
    • Press your back heel down toward the ground. If you want a deeper stretch, place your feet further apart.
    • Repeat on the other side.

     

    Heel Drop Stretch

    This stretching technique engages your calves and back, thigh, and soles.

    It’s a great way to treat Achilles tendonitis and increases the range of motion in your lower body.

    • Stand on a step. Place your feet on the edge of the step.
    • Drop one heel toward the floor. 
    • Repeat on the other side.

    You can drop both heels toward the ground and move them up and down for better results. 

     

    Standing Bent-Over Calf Stretch

    Standing Bent-Over Calf Stretch

    This stretching exercise simultaneously works on your calves, back, thighs, and hamstring.

    It’s especially helpful after leg days when your legs are overwhelmed and tired. 

    • Stand with one leg forward.
    • Bend your back knee. Keep your front knee straight and fold forward to grab onto your front foot underneath your toes.
    • Pull up gently on your toes. Feel the stretch in your calf.
    • Repeat on the other side.

     

    Seated Calf Stretch With a Resistance Band

    reclining hand to big toe pose

    You need a towel or resistance band for this exercise.

    It’s ideal for stretching your tight and stiff calves and improves your flexibility. 

    • Extend your legs while sitting on the floor.
    • Loop a resistance band or hand towel around one foot and hold both sides with your hands.
    • Gently pull your toes toward your shin, and feel the stretch in your calf.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    See our top three recommended resistance bands below if you don’t own one already.

    Preview
    Best Quality
    Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands with Instruction Guide and Carry Bag, Set of 5
    Best Variations
    3.9ft Resistance Bands Set - Exercise Bands for Physical Therapy, Yoga, Pilates, Rehab and Home Workout, Non-Latex Elastic Bands Set of 3
    Best Price
    Hoocan Resistance Bands Set, Long Exercise Bands for Arms, Shoulders, Legs and Butt, Workout Stretch Bands for Physical Therapy, Gym, Yoga
    Product Name
    Fit Simplify Resistance Loop
    RENRANRING Bands
    Hoocan Resistance Bands
    Use for Exercise
    Use for Physical Therapy
    Resistance Level
    Five levels
    Three Levels
    Three Levels
    Quality
    Superior Quality
    Good Quality Exercise Bands
    Premium Quality
    Extras
    Portable travel carry bag and exercise instruction guide.
    One Carry Bag + One Workout Guide.
    None
    Best Quality
    Preview
    Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands with Instruction Guide and Carry Bag, Set of 5
    Product Name
    Fit Simplify Resistance Loop
    Use for Exercise
    Use for Physical Therapy
    Resistance Level
    Five levels
    Quality
    Superior Quality
    Extras
    Portable travel carry bag and exercise instruction guide.
    Interested
    Best Variations
    Preview
    3.9ft Resistance Bands Set - Exercise Bands for Physical Therapy, Yoga, Pilates, Rehab and Home Workout, Non-Latex Elastic Bands Set of 3
    Product Name
    RENRANRING Bands
    Use for Exercise
    Use for Physical Therapy
    Resistance Level
    Three Levels
    Quality
    Good Quality Exercise Bands
    Extras
    One Carry Bag + One Workout Guide.
    Interested
    Best Price
    Preview
    Hoocan Resistance Bands Set, Long Exercise Bands for Arms, Shoulders, Legs and Butt, Workout Stretch Bands for Physical Therapy, Gym, Yoga
    Product Name
    Hoocan Resistance Bands
    Use for Exercise
    Use for Physical Therapy
    Resistance Level
    Three Levels
    Quality
    Premium Quality
    Extras
    None
    Interested

     

    Here’s a great video explaining some tips on how to stretch without equipment: 

     

    When to Stretch Your Calves 🙄

    When to Stretch Your Calves

    You need to stretch your calf muscle when you feel it’s tight. The condition may occur right after exercise or up to a couple of hours later. Running and endurance sports put pressure on the calves. Excessive sitting and wearing high heels can also induce calf tightness.

    The causes of tight calf might include muscle overuse, muscle tear or tendonitis injuries, dietary imbalances, and dehydration. 

    The symptoms are pain and discomfort in the back of your calf or behind your knee. 

    The discomfort worsens when you apply pressure, such as trying to stand on your toes. Swelling and bruising are also possible. 

    When experiencing these symptoms, you need to stretch your calf muscles.

    Using a calf stretcher, in this case, is recommended. However, if the pain becomes too much, make sure to visit a physician. 

     

    Benefits of Calf Stretching 🦿

    Benefits of Calf Stretching

    Stretching your calves has many advantages.

    When done correctly, it can have the following benefits such as:

     

    1. Stabilizing your feet and ankles

    Balance is critical if you’re a runner who needs to increase speed and stability simultaneously. 

     

    2. Activating your calf muscles

    The best calf stretches stimulate your muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce muscle tightness and pain. 

     

    3. Increasing range of motion

    When your leg muscles aren’t stiff, you’ll have better mobility and move your legs more.  

     

    4. Increasing flexibility

    Without flexibility, the muscles shorten and become stiff and weak, making you unable to do your everyday activities. 

     

    Frequently Asked Questions 🤔

    Stretching Post Workout

    Do Calf Stretchers Work?

    Yes. Calf stretches can activate the muscles, stimulate blood flow, and increase the range of motions.

    These stretches also reduce the risk of injuring your calf muscles while standing and walking.

    They’re especially effective if you sit behind a desk frequently

    How Often Should You Stretch Your Calves?

    You can do calf stretches after a workout while your muscles are warm and active.

    If you have a sedentary lifestyle, give your calves a stretch every week.

    Hold each calf stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat each stretch 2 to 4 times. 

    Bottom Line 🤗

    Health Priorities

    A calf stretcher is an effective instrument for people who need a bit of assistance in their exercises.

    It’s really simple to use and gives you all the benefits of stretching without excessive pain or difficulty. 

    However, if your shoe size is larger than 10, you may have trouble using one.

    Luckily, calf stretchers are not mandatory; you can give your calves a good stretch without one.  

    Don’t forget to share this post if you like it.

    Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    nv-author-image

    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    I accept the Privacy Policy