Calf Self Care Routine For Hikers
In this calf self care routine for hikers, I’ll give you some quick ways to ease those tight calf muscles. Using items that you have handy, you can massage, stretch, and care for your calf muscles. Self care for the calf muscles is very important! This mini calf self care routine for hikers is from my more comprehensive self care program.
Know your calf muscle
When you are hiking, it’s often helpful to have a map, so you know where to go. The map can also outline the features and give you a good picture of the landscape. For this calf routine, I give you the same map with a quick tour of the calf muscle group. This will help you see the view your calf a little differently and make the techniques much more efficient.
Simple yet effective
The first technique targets the soleus. This deeper calf muscle is often quite painful and tender, so keep your pressure in the “hurts good” column. No tears! Using our fingers for this version, we will target the soleus muscle and move the foot up and down simultaneously. Spend a few minutes here, and you’ll feel the difference!
For a slightly different plan of attack on the soleus, try using your elbow. Using a steady gliding motion, you’ll be able to place more pressure on the soleus to make an impact.
Next is the old standby, the trekking pole calf massage. Incredibly practical and straightforward, this method will help out the hard-working calf muscles. Make sure to work the inside and outside of the calf for the best results. Don’t forget to change your lower leg angle as you glide through the muscle 🙂
Lastly, using a ball, you can pinpoint the separate calf muscle heads. Working right to left as well as up and down, you can find those small and painful areas. A few minutes here will help the knees feel much better!
Strengthen your calf
No fancy exercises needed here. The classic calf raise is a perfect complement to a hiker’s needs. I like to point my feet in different directions for variety and to target each calf head. (See the video for a demonstration.)
One great option for your exercise arsenal is the wall sit with a slightly elevated hip position. Once in place, you’ll perform heel raises that will optimize the soleus strength. This is an excellent option for ending a workout and winding down your gym session.
The calf self care routine for hikers touches on a couple of my favorite methods. There’s a more comprehensive program that you can find here.