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Fitness

Flex Time: Stretching Guide to Loose and Limber Muscles

Follow our quick stretching guide to test your tight spots and loosen up your knots.
Calf flexibility test Calves

Wearing high heels puts your feet in a downward-slanting position that automatically shortens calf muscles. Too much tip-toe strolling over time causes those muscles to remain short even when you're in flats.

The Test
Sit on floor with legs extended, feet flat against a wall, arms by sides with palms down. Without moving heels away from wall, flex left foot so that toes point toward body. Switch feet and repeat to get score for right calf.

Good (3 points): Ball of foot moves 2 to 3 inches from wall.
Fair (2 points): Ball of foot moves 1 to 2 inches from wall.
Poor (1 point): Can't get to 90 degrees with knee straight.

Gum Shoe stretch Stretch It Out: Gum Shoe

Facing a wall and place palms on it at chest level, elbows slightly bent. Lean forward, step right foot back a few feet to staggered stance, heel on floor so that you feel the stretch in right calf. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Do 3 reps per leg. Repeat sequence, this time bending knee of rear leg to target a different set of calf muscles.

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