Calf Stretch Board: Stop Stretching With It!
If you have spent any time in a physical therapy office or even a gym, you have probably seen a calf stretch board lying to the side, perhaps even in a stretching area. In addition to this, you have likely seen people.. well.. stretching there calves with it. Although stretching your calves might be what is typically seen and done with a slantboard, there is actually a better way to use this device. If you are saying “Logan, I simply just want to stretch my calves with it,” well, I’m going to show you a better way to do that as well. Read below for some of the best exercises you currently aren’t doing with a slantboard.
What’s Better Than Stretching?
As we’ve established, most people use a slantboard to stretch their calves. One of the better uses for the slantboard, that I have found, is actually to strengthen your knees. Strengthen your knees with a calf stretch board? Yes. All you have to do is actually turn the slantboard around from the way you were initially stretching it on. When you can on the slantboard in this direction it puts your knees in a specific angle which helps to build tendon, and ligament strength. “But you also said we get a better way to stretch your calves!” Of course, if you still want to just stretch your calves make sure to stay until the end for a special exercise for that.
Mini Squat Holds
For this exercise, simply get onto the slantboard, standing nice and tall. Next, you will bend your knees very slightly, keeping your chest high and your knees pointed forward. Try to work your way up to doing 30 second holds for about thirty seconds. This is a great place to start strengthening your knees, before moving on to the next exercise.
Full Slantboard Squats
Once you have built the strength from the first exercise, you can work into full slantboard squats. This will have you standing on the slantboard once again, with your chest high. Next, you will bend your knees and hips, ideally sitting all the way down as low as you can go. If there is any pain with this, try to go a little more shallow on the squats. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, and if this is easy, and you are able to do a full range of motion variation, full free to add some weight with a dumbbell as well.
Before You Go On
Those exercises were a great start, but I promise you, you don’t want to miss these next few exercises. Doing these next few, especially the last exercise, could change the way your body feels forever.
Slantboard Step Ups
This is by far one of my favorite slantboard exercises. For this one, stand on the calf stretch board once again. Next, you will take one heel and try to tap it on the ground in front of the slantboard. To do this, you have probably noticed that you need to bend one of your knees. Try to do 3 sets of 30 repetitions on each leg for best results and feel free to add a balance support if you need it.
ATG Split Squats
After you have mastered all of those, you can move onto the ATG split squat. This will have you placing the calf stretch board up onto a small stool or bench. You will then put your foot up onto the slantboard, and allow your knee to be pushed forward fairly far. This might be uncomfortable at first, but over time your knees will get stronger in this demanding position. It also gives a good hip stretch. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg, and boost up the height if you do have any pain.
Reverse Slantboard Weighted Stretch
Once you have done all of those exercises, you are probably tired and ready to stretch out your calves and body. One of the best ways to do this, is through flipping the slantboard around and placing your toes so they are up on top. Next, you will grab a small weight, and allow it to pull your back down far in position. This will give a great calf, hamstring, and lower back stretch. If you are comfortable, you can do this slowly for repetitions as well.
Follow these calf stretch board exercises daily for the best results. If you are in the market for a calf stretch board, or an adjustable dumbbell weight like the one from the video, feel free to check the links below.
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