Since coming to Mills, I have found that the most helpful way to personally de-stress is to either go to a gym or do certain exercises in my room. I especially love to do calf stretches because they target a leg muscle that I use in other workouts and prevent any potential injury when I do cardio. Here are three calf stretches that I do to relieve tension during a homework or study break.
- Ankle Circles: Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift whatever leg you want to begin with up above the ground two inches and keep it straight. Then, use your big toe to pretend to draw big circles in the air. You should feel a small pull in your calves. Switch legs as needed.
- Calf Stretches Against a Wall: Begin by standing in front of a flat surfaced wall. Lean forward by putting your hand or elbows against the wall while keeping your legs, back and head in a straight line. Keep your feet and heels flat. To make the stretch easier, step closer to the wall and to make the stretch harder, step farther away while still keeping your feet and heels flat. Do this for about 10-15 seconds.
- Seated Calf Stretch: With this stretch you can use a seat or something elevated. Extend your leg and place your heel on the seat, keeping your leg as straight as you can. With the leg you’re standing on, bend your knee. Use your hands to pull your toes toward you. You can also use bands if you choose to do so. Do this for about 10-15 seconds and then switch legs.
These are three stretches that help relieve some of the tension I feel in my calves and other targeted leg muscles.