When it comes to running, it goes without saying that from your hips to your toes, your legs need to be in the best possible condition to keep you moving forward. Now that may seem like Running 101, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to adequately strengthen and stretch the various muscles in their legs. More often than not; calf, achilles, knee, and even hip injuries are the byproduct of the lack of flexibility and strength in the surrounding muscles. In today’s review, we are taking a look at the Type S Calf Stretcher from Addaday, maker of some great preventive and rehabilitation products.
I’ve been plagued over the last year to year and a half with calf issues and in particular the area just below the calf, called the soleus, and so I’ve been looking at ways to increase my flexibility and strength. Now I won’t get into the medical details, but the bottom line is your calf soreness can be caused by any number of things from type hips to tears to even sprains. In general though, they do have a tendency to get very tight and can cramp fairly easily. There’s even a syndrome related to calf injuries called compartmentalization and this affects hundred of thousands of people year around.
One of the first and simplest things you can do is a calf stretch and you’ve probably done this stretch before where you push your toe against a stair or curb and bend down, keeping your left straight, which applies pressure and lengthens your calf. This is the staple stretch you always see runners doing. The problem is that’s not a particularly controlled movement and it’s not easily replicated from place to place. The Addaday stretcher fixes this by given you a consistent device that delivers a repeatable stretch and there’s two core functions. First, through a rock back technique you can stretch your calf and elongate in order to achieve that same stretch you’ve tried prior. In this case however, this stretch is consistently reinforced and is always replicatable meaning from a rehab perspective you have a very controlled movement to work with. Additionally, you can flip the unit around and use it to stretch your toes and ball the calf which provides you an alternative technique.
The unit itself is extremely simple from a design perspective. It’s a molded PVC plastic design of very heavy gauge material with two cloth rail covers on the bottom that keep it from digging up the floor and providing traction to the device. The top is horizontally grooved with a catch on one end to keep your heel or tie from sliding off depending on the direction of exercise. One thing I did find nice about the unit is that it is extremely durable. I never feel like I could damage this thing. It is definitely no-frills, but serves a very distinct purpose and does it very well. So before and after most runs I take about 2 to 3 minutes and stretch my left and right legs via a heel and toe stretch doing about 30 to 45 seconds per side. I can definitely say this has increased my flexibility and my helped reduce my Issues.
Overall, the Addaday Type S Calf Stretcher is simplicity at its best. It’s designed to serve one purpose and that is to increase the flexibility of your calf and lower leg and it does a great job at that. The unit itself is durable and will not break down and well made. So if you’re experiencing any sort of issues or are just looking to increase your flexibility and your lower leg strength, then definitely take a look. The device is available for $33.00 and you can find a list of retailers on the Addaday website.