How to Get Rid of Stiff Muscles

Three quick tips for loosening up a stiff Achilles

Ben Greenfield,
October 15, 2011

Richard wrote in about a problem he's been having: a stiff Achilles. Tightness in calves and the Achilles (the area between the lower calf and ankle) can be especially bothersome in cold weather. Although muscle stiffness becomes more common with age, there are a variety of ways to maintain flexible and functional lower legs. Here are three quick and dirty tips:

  1. Use a foam roller. I discuss foam rollers more in the article How to Make A Home Gym, and you can see a video of me using a foam roller called a Rumble Roller on my lower leg and Achilles here.

  2. Use heat. In addition to increasing muscle elasticity with a warm-up prior to a workout, you can also use a heating pad or hot wrap to improve function of the calf and lower leg.

  3. Stretch. Rather than just sticking to a single stretch, incorporate a variety of stretches for your calves, such as toes against a wall or Yoga down dog position

With foam roller, heat, and stretching, you’ll find you have far more comfortable calves!

Stiff Muscle image courtesy of Shutterstock