Home > Stretching, Technique > Stretch Your Calves For Better Splits

Stretch Your Calves For Better Splits

Miikka Kiprusoff Split. Image Credit: Stretchaflex.comOne of the things I learned over the years from running is that people tend to neglect their calves when they stretch. Tight calves can prevent you from fully stretching out your hamstrings and that could possibly lead to injury as well as not reaching your full potential. As a goaltender, flexibility is without a doubt one of most important components of being successful and avoiding injuries. Whether you are moving from post to post or skating out to cut down an angle or dropping into a butterfly save, your legs do the majority of the work while in net.

Being able to preform a split during a game is not required or necessary, but it definitely pays to get as close as possible to executing one. There are many techniques out there on how to work your way towards doing a full split. They target your hamstrings, groin, and hip girdle area. What I have seen is that even though your calves are including in some of the stretches, they tend to get neglected.

There are two things I do to make sure my calves are stretched out properly, so when I work on my splits they do not restrict me. My stretching routine is basically a custom Yoga routine that was designed by a family friend Yoga and Pilates instructor. Several times during the routine I go into the Downward Facing Dog pose. This pose is great for targeting your calves and giving your back a great stretch.

The other thing I do for stretching my calves is a nifty little device called the ProStretch made by Medi-Dyne. Originally I purchased it for running, but it is awesome for any sport that requires good flexibility. I keep mine at work and I tend to use it when I first get in, after lunch, and then when I leave for the day. You get a much deeper stretch in your calves than doing standing wall stretches.

Prostretch. Image Credit: Medi-Dyne


And the next time you make a jaw-dropping glove save in a full split, be sure to thank your calves.

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