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Injury Prevention Stretch for Runners

This spring season, don’t let an injury keep you from taking advantage of the good weather. Remember this crucial lower leg stretch that could prevent knee pain, achillies tendon stain, or multiple foot injuries. This muscle is the soleus and it is located deep in the belly of your lower leg, between the gastrocnemius muscles located on each side of the lower leg.

The soleus is the forgotten muscle in the lower leg but when tight and contracted it can lead to any of the above mentioned conditions. When neglected the soleus will press into the achillies tendon, which can easily lead to achillies tendonosis and putting you on the sidelines. To prevent these lower leg injury just remember to stretch your soleus for several seconds before and after your workout. In order to stretch the soleus the knee must be bent, not straight, as opposed to the popular lower leg stretch, which only stretches the gastrocs.

The simplest way I have found to perform the soleus stretch is to step onto a curb or step with the front of your foot, leaving the back of the foot suspended. Then gently press down with your foot, while keeping your knee bent. This will effectively isolate the soleus, giving the deep muscle a great stretch.

The soleus stretch can also be performed from a sitting position. Grasp the top of your foot under the balls or your toes with either both your hands, a towel or strap. Then gently pull back while your foot presses forward.

Perform the soleus stretch several times before and after your workout and you should stay injury free. Hope you find this stretch useful!

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