Stretches for the Lower Calves and Achilles

Walker, Brad. Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility. 3rd ed. 2011. Print.

The lower calf muscles are located on the posterior (rear) of the lower leg
below the knee joint. They originate at the top of the tibia, just below the
knee joint, and extend down into the Achilles tendon. The primary action of
the lower calf muscles is to plantar flex the ankle joint.

The calf muscles and Achilles tendon are commonly over-stretched by
applying too much force to the targeted muscle groups. Please take extra
care when performing the following stretches and always follow The Rules
for Safe Stretching in chapter 5.

Sports that benefit from these lower calf stretches include: Basketball and
Netball; Boxing; Cycling; Hiking, Backpacking, Mountaineering and
Orienteering; Ice hockey and Field hockey; Ice Skating, Roller Skating and
Inline Skating; Martial Arts; racquet sports like Tennis, Badminton and
Squash; Running, Track and Cross Country; running sports like Football,
Soccer, Gridiron and Rugby; Snow Skiing and Water Skiing; Surfing;
Swimming; Walking and Race Walking.

The major muscles being stretched.

Flexor digitorum longus
Flexor hallucis longus
Peroneus longus and brevis
Tibialis posterior


K01 – Standing Toe-up Achilles Stretch: Stand upright and place the ball of your
foot onto a step or raised object. Bend your knee and lean forward.


K02 – Single Heel-drop Achilles Stretch: Stand on a raised object or step and place
the ball of one of your feet on the edge of the step. Bend your knee slightly
and let your heel drop towards the ground.


K03 – Standing Heel-back Achilles Stretch: Stand upright and take one step
backwards. Bend your back knee and push your heel towards the ground.


K04 – Leaning Heel-back Achilles Stretch: Reach towards a wall and place one foot
as far from the wall as is comfortable. Make sure that both toes are pointing
forward and your heels are on the ground. Bend your back knee and lean
towards the wall.


K05 – Sitting Toe-pull Achilles Stretch: Sit on the ground with your knees slightly
bent. Hold onto your toes with your hands and pull your toes towards your


K06 – Crouching Heel-back Achilles Stretch: Stand upright and place one foot in
front of the other. Bend your front leg and your back leg and then push your
back heel towards the ground. Lean forward and place your hands on the
ground in front of you.


K07 – Kneeling Heel-down Achilles Stretch: Kneel on one foot and place your body
weight over your knee. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward.


K08 – Squatting Achilles Stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Then
bend your legs and lower your body into a sitting position. Place your hands
out in front for balance.