The Essentials of Calf Stretching on the One Stretch
If you stretch correctly, it works faster, and the odds of success are higher. If you stretch incorrectly…well, you can figure it out.
I have endorsed calf stretching since 1986, and the One Stretch has been around for almost a decade. While my patients had great success stretching their calves off a step, that success only came when they actually did it. Compliance has understandably been the primary issue. The One Stretch has solved that for the most part, not to mention that it provides a much better stretch. —James Amis, M.D.
The good about calf stretching: it solves your problem about 95% of the time at the source. It actually fixes THE PROBLEM, your TIGHT CALVES.
The bad about calf stretching: It takes time to see results and a bit longer for resolution. This could be a few days and up to 6 months with an average of 2-4 weeks. As a result, you must be patient, have faith, and stretch every day- okay, almost every day if possible. Also, you have to do it yourself, so it requires diligence on your part. Doing the right thing is often not a quick fix and takes time.
Here are the things that really count.
Length of time you do it each (and every) day. Of course, you can follow any regimen you want. However, I would advise following my 3 x 3 regimen. Through years of tinkering and observation, I have determined that 9 minutes a day is the magic number, 3 minutes, 3 times per day clustered like sets. In other words, stretch 3 minutes, go away for a few minutes (brush your teeth, etc.), then another 3 min. stretch, go away for a bit, and then do the final 3 min., and you are done for the day. Less stretching duration is less effective, and more than 9 minutes is no better than 9 minutes—and that’s why 9 minutes is optimal. Some people can’t start out at 3 minutes and may need to build up slowly.
Keep stretching long enough. This means how many weeks or months are spent continuously stretching. The one downside of stretching is no doubt that it takes time. Fortunately, but maybe not in your particular case, the problems we are solving are usually manageable until the stretching finally does its job, and it will.
The numbers. Oh, those dreaded numbers on top. What do they mean? What do you do with them? All they are is a guide to stretching intensity. The goal is NOT necessarily to eventually go to the number 4 side, even though it seems logical. In fact, the great majority of people will get all they need on the 1-2-3 side. Just learn to feel it!
Use it with your back against the wall. This means how many weeks or months are spent stretching daily. The one downside of stretching is no doubt that it takes time. Fortunately, but maybe not in your particular case, the problems we are solving are usually manageable/livable until the stretching finally does its job, and it will.
Don’t stretch within an hour before ballistic or athletic activity. Static stretching has been shown to reduce ballistic strength by about 4-8% for about 45 minutes. Any other timing is fine, but it probably is best to do about the same time every day for consistency. So, when it is time to do your thing, you are always stretched and ready to go!
Where your foot contacts the One Stretch. As easy as the One Stretch is to use for stretching the gastrocnemius, it can be done incorrectly. The most common error on the One Stretch is using the improper contact area of your foot. If you want to get the best stretch, the foot should contact the One Stretch on the arch of your foot, not the ball. Please refer to this video and the image below.
To learn even more follow this link One Stretch Quick Start
Have plantar fasciitis? The PHS video is from our archives, and it came before the One Stretch. This video content was good when Dr. Amis published it in 1995, and it is still good today. Also, see the Plantar Fasciitis Q & A with Dr. Amis produced in 2006.