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Stretch of the Week: Mini Down Dog Calf Stretch

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Are you an avid walker, hiker or runner? If so, this month’s weekly stretches are for you! We are targeting muscle groups that are involved in moving the legs. This first week we will stretch the Achilles, calves, hamstrings and low back. We will call this stretch the Mini Down Dog Calf Stretch.

Do not perform this stretch if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, late term pregnancy, or if you have high blood pressure or a headache. Please consult your physician before performing the stretch if you have any calf, hamstring, low back or Achilles injuries.

Stretch of the Week: Mini Down Dog Calf Stretch

How to perform:

  1. Start in a push-up position as shown in the top photo marked 1. Spread your palms and fingers wide while pressing to the floor. Draw your belly button to your spine.
  1. Bend your knees slightly, press your hips back and up to the sky, and straighten your legs as best you can as shown in photo 2. You can still have a slight bend in your knees throughout this stretch.
  1. Step your left foot forward one small step as shown in photo 3. Notice how the torso does not shift forward in the photo. Keep your hips lifted back and up. Press your belly button to your spine to protect your low back.
  1. From this position reach your left heel down to the floor as shown in the photo marked 4. Then straighten your leg any amount you can to stretch the back of your left leg from heel to low back. Again notice that the torso does NOT shift forward in the photo. Bend your left knee as much as you need to, while still maintaining a stretch. Your right heel will come up slightly but try to keep that leg straight as well.

– Take a look at the “NO” photo. Do not shift forward and do not excessively bend the knees. You are looking for straight lines in this stretch.

  1. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, or as long as your arms will hold up!

Interested in learning more? Email me at

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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