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Move of the Month – Calf and Achilles Stretching

July 21, 2014

Provided by Copley Hospital Certified Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci, MS, ATC

Morrisville – Tightness in the calf and Achilles tendon can often contribute to a variety of lower leg issues says Copley Hospital Certified Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci. Those issues can include shin splints, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. These injuries are common in running sports such as football and repetitive jumping sports as tennis and basketball.

Faraci recommends that before you begin stretching you warm up with a brisk walk or light jog. He notes that stretching should not be painful. If you experience pain when stretching, you are doing too much and should back off on the intensity of the stretch.

Faraci offers examples of calf and Achilles stretches that can easily be done at home. He recommends these stretches be performed 2-3 times on both sides of the body, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds each:

Calf Stretch:

  • Place your hands on a wall at about shoulder height.
  • Step back about 12 inches with your right foot and step forward 12 inches with your left foot.
  • Lean forward and allow your left knee to slightly bend.
  • Keep your right foot flat on the floor and keep your knee straight.
  • Continue to lean forward until you feel a stretching sensation in your upper right calf.

Achilles Stretch:

  • Place your hands on a wall at about shoulder height.
  • Step back about 6 inches with your right foot and step forward 12 inches with your left foot.
  • Lean forward and allow your left knee to slightly bend.
  • Keep your right foot flat on the floor and bend your right knee.
  • Continue to bend your right knee and lean forward until you feel a stretching sensation in your
  • Achilles just above your heel.

Faraci is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Copley Hospital. He provides both land based and aquatic orthopedic rehabilitation. Faraci also works closely with area schools to ensure our student athletes are receiving the proper prevention and injury care to keep them on the slopes, fields and courts.

For more than 30 years, Copley’s Rehabilitation team has provided one of the most comprehensive and patient-friendly programs in Vermont. Copley provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services at their locations in Morrisville, Stowe and Hardwick. Services include: Athletic Training, Aquatic Therapy, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Hand, Occupational, Physical and Pediatric Therapies, Speech Language Pathology, Work Conditioning and Therapy for Urinary Incontinence. For more information, visit copleyvt.org or call 802-888-8303.