This week we are going to give our calves a little extra love with a calf massage technique instead of a stretch. This is one I use all the time because my calves are so tight. If you have trigger points or “knots” in your muscles, this is a great way to work them out on your own. I’ll warn you right now, it might be tender, so just apply as much pressure as you feel comfortable. That’s the great thing about this technique, you have control over how much you sink into the tissue. You will need a towel or a smaller blanket for this technique.
How to Do the Calf Massage Technique:
- Start by folding your towel or blanket in half until it’s about a two foot long rectangle. Then tightly roll it up as shown in the photo below.
- Next, come to your hands and knees. Place the rolled up towel or blanket right behind the knees as shown in photo number 1 below. Then gently sit back towards your heels, as shown in photo marked 2. There will probably be a little space between the heels and the glutes, which is completely fine. If the muscles are really tender and the pressure is too great to sit up tall and straight, then lean forward a bit and place a hand or both on the ground. This is where you have control over how much pressure you apply to the calves.
- Stay here a few breaths, then lean forward and move the rolled blanket/towel down an inch or two towards the heels as shown in photo 3. Lean back towards the heels again, applying as much pressure as you feel you can tolerate. Stay a bit, then move it down again, repeating until you get over the heels/Achilles tendon. Then bring it back behind the knees once more, doing the whole process over again.
- Make as many trips from behind the knees to the heels as you like! If you feel really tender spots, hang out there a little longer than the other spots to really loosen the muscle.
Tip: if you are not feeling much, or are feeling like you could handle a lot more pressure you can use a broom stick or a few inches of pvc pipe in place of the rolled towel/blanket. It’ll be a lot more intense so be aware!
Hope you enjoy this massage technique!