A flexibility survey!

How tight are your calves??

18 messages
10/09/2008 at 12:13

Could you all humour me and try something for me?

Keeping your heels on the floor, how far can you squat down?

If you can answer with the following info I'd be *really* grateful!

1)Less than half way

2) about half way

3)  over half way

4) all the way - I'm made of rubber!

And tell me what sort of stretching you do and what your warm up and cool downs are like?

I have tight calves, I'm trying to come up with a strategy!

x

10/09/2008 at 12:29

All the way (my husband wishes I was made of rubber)

I dont stretch before I run, I just start off slowly to warm up.  I stretch them by pushing up against a wall and then stretch the soleus (the smaller muscle) by having one foot in front of the other and then sort of sitting down onto the back leg both knees bent (if that makes sense).

However, I do a lot o gym work, things like squats, that helps with my flexibility etc.

seren nos    pirate
10/09/2008 at 12:39

I seem to go down until my bottom is 3 inches off the floor...................don't do many stretches...........(I know I should) just a few after running...................................no gym work etc and i don't think I'm very flexible.........................

I would think that the majority of people would be able to squat over half way..............not sure how long people can hold that position for though

10/09/2008 at 12:47

I can squat nearly all the way down.

That's not calf flexibility, though, is it?

10/09/2008 at 13:04

MikeFrog - i'm not sure! But it's one of the tests I did when at the podiatrists, and the conclusion was I have very tight calves (I couldn't go past half way). It must have something to do with it - being able to keep my heels on the floor certainly felt tight in the calf area!

Interesting reading - more replies please

x

10/09/2008 at 13:23
Hi YL - you running again yet? I can go nearly all the way down too. I was given a couple of different calf stretches by the physio. The usual one where you put the leg you want to stretch behind with heel down. The other one you stand close to the wall (she suggested doing it with trainers on) put the front of your foot against the wall and lean your hips in. If you turn your body it gets the muscles to each side too.
10/09/2008 at 13:28
MikeFrog wrote (see)

I can squat nearly all the way down.

That's not calf flexibility, though, is it?


Correct MF, it's also to do with hamstring and lower back flexibility as well, not just calves.

A squat is not really a suitable test for calf flexibility as the technique of the squat affects so many other muscles - whether you squat with your bum sticking out, or allowing the knees to travel forward of the toes for example. Wide or narrow foot stance will alter squat depth too.

A general one for calf flexibility is to stand facing a wall barefoot . Keeping the heel on the floor, bend the knee so it touches the wall. Measure the distance of the big toe from the wall, or stand on a tape measure / ruler. Easy!

10/09/2008 at 13:29

All the way.

Rarely do any stretching. Same as mike frog, can't say it even feels as though your stretching your calves when you squat down.

10/09/2008 at 13:51

Interesting - thanks!

B - I'm allowed to try some runnig again, with new arch supports, and the promise that I will faithfully do the calf stretching exercises he's given me. I very nearly cried when he said I could run! I'll start at the weekend and give it a go. And stretch!!

He did some other foot-bendy things too, i just wondered how good everyone else was at the squat thing, and what people thought. 

x

10/09/2008 at 14:05

More foot bendy things

I can squat all the way down but think that's years of weight training squats. It's like many tribes who comfortably sit that way to work, imagine if we had to do that instead of sit on chairs!

10/09/2008 at 14:44
Great news that you're able to run again - good luck for the weekend!
10/09/2008 at 15:15

woudl have thought a test as to if you can touch the floor when standing and bending from the waist would be more suitable for testing flexibility?

can squat all the way down and rarely if ever stretch

10/09/2008 at 15:19
thats more hams and lower back i think GL
10/09/2008 at 20:00

YL, good to see you've got over injury!!  Remember you from those early summer posts!

I can go all the way down to the floor, but then I stretch every day (you've read my gory details!)  But then that flexibility is in other areas too, not just calves.

Hope it continues to go well for you.  As the "Injury Queen", keep stretching and take it easy, I'm up to 4m now and still going!  Duracell bunny's got nothing on me!

10/09/2008 at 21:51

I can get all the way down. Regarding warm up, I tend to jog at a slow pace to start with, and stretch when I finish. I also try to do stretches in the morning as I've been prone to achilles problems. The podiatrist gave me some stretches for my calves etc, as Runnersbeen described. The other thing I've found beneficial is sports massage, really loosens out the calves.

Hope you get on ok with your running.

10/09/2008 at 22:06

Can squat nearly to the floor....and then tumble over and look like a stranded turtle.

And I have really horribly tight calves....so that can't be a good test!  I'm undergoing physio pre-orthotic casting.  How much flex you have in your foot is a better test of the calves (though achilles gets involved too).  Sit on the floor legs in front.  Flex ankle so toes move towards you....how far do you get.  I don't iven get my feet at right angles to my legs

17/09/2008 at 18:05
I can get nearly to the floor (altho' I then fall over!).  Wouldn't think that it can be a test of calf flexibility as I am as stiff as a board generally, my own worst enemy as I never stretch and do only light warm-ups and cool downs.  It's made my day that I can actually do it tho'!
17/09/2008 at 22:52
About half way but I have very tight calves which I'm working on. Only reason I can get so far is because I have a long body and short legs so although my lower legs are not far off vertical I can bend my knees back and balance by putting my body forward.The bend from the waist to touch the floor test is not that good either, because of the short legs and long body I can touch my palms on the floor - my dad can too at 74 and he's not that supple.The touch your knee on the wall and measure your toes from the wall is a good test of calf flexibilty. Right foot my toes are 80mm and left foot 95mm. That's up from about 65 and 80 when I started stretching a lot. I can squat further too since stretching.

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