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SKIP this exercise if painful or uncomfortable

Blue Stars_edited.png

Exercise 6 (5a)

  • Learn and follow the exercise instructions below.

  • Practice this exercise daily as part of your sequence. 

  • Perform this exercise only in pain free and comfortable ranges.

  • If necessary, seek professional advise to use as part of a rehabilitation program.

Learn the Exercise

Blue (lower body) Journey

The 2 Stars Sequence

Video

Follow the onscreen breathing instructions Inhale Exhale

Tap on 'Next' for the next exercise (unavailable when in full screen)

5a is special because it contains two different exercises, for the one purpose of having strong calf muscles throughout their full range - from full ankle dorsiflexion to full plantiflexion. The first calf muscle stretch exercise is therefore a warmup and preparation for the second full-range calf muscle power exercise.

It is this combination of these elements that is required for important critical daily functions like walking and running. Alternatively, without adequate long and strong calf muscles, walking and running might be mechanically impaired and perhaps more prone to injury.

As 5a is a holistic exercise utilizing full-body mechanics, it is also a good opportunity to practice correct pelvic and full-body alignment while moving.


StarBarre Position

  • Waist height


The Stretch Portion

Tempo

  • Move - stretch - return - relax -...


Breathing Pattern

  • Inhale - Starting position.

  • Exhale - Movement and stretch and return phases.

  • Inhale - Relax phase.



Starting Position


  • Stand with one leg close to the wall and the other as far back as possible with the heel resting on the floor.

  • Maintain pelvic width between the legs.

  • Slightly flex the front knee and bear some weight on it.

  • Tilt the straight body slightly forward (from the back ankle) and place palms lightly on bar.

  • Inhale.

Ensure

  • The back foot is pointing forward (Tends to point outwards).

  • The pelvis is not rotated.

  • The front knee is pointing forward.

  • The feet not inverted or everted.

  • The back heel is rested on the floor.

  • The body-line is straight.

  • Both feet are in their neutral position on the floor - not everted or inverted.


Movement Phase


  • Wile maintaining the longitudinal full-body line, start exhaling and tilt the straight body forward by simultaneously flexing the front knee and both elbows together.

  • Keep the elbows close to the trunk (not sideways).

  • Keep the back heel on the floor (otherwise there is no stretch).

  • Stop when the the calf stretch is felt.

  • Ensure the pelvis is not rotated and the straight body-line maintained.


Stretch Phase


  • Maintain the distinct stretch for about a second.

  • Continue the exhalation.

  • 'Feel' the connection between good full-body alignment and a good calf stretch feel.


Return Phase


  • Continue the exhalation.

  • Extend the front knee and both elbows at the same time to tilt the straight line of the body back to the Starting Position.


Relax Phase


  • Assume the relaxed upright posture, while slightly leaning on bar.

  • Consciously relax the muscles in that position and start gearing the body for the next repetition.


Perform 2 stretch repetitions, then proceed to the calf power portion with the same leg.


The Power Portion

Tempo

  • Stretch - push - stretch - push...


Breathing Pattern

  • Inhale - Starting position.

  • Exhale - Movement and stretch and return phases.

  • Inhale - Relax phase.


Starting Position


  • Reach and maintain the forward tilting stretch position of 7a.

  • In that position, flex and raise the front knee towards the chest and point the ankle to full plantiflexion.

  • keep the back heel on the floor and emphasize the calf stretch due to the body tilt.


Movement Phase

  • From this position:

  • Maintain the straight line of the body.

  • Push the entire body-line diagonally up and forward by flexing the back ankle against the floor.

  • Reach the end range of ankle flexion.

  • Avoid spinal movements.

  • Make easier: Push downwards on the bar with the hands to assist the calf muscle action.


Stretch Phase


  • When the end range of ankle flexion is reached, the calf muscle power together with a unique ankle stretch is distinctively felt.

  • Recognize, reach and feel this powerful stretch every repetition. It is very important for ankle health.


Return Phase


  • Reverse the movement phase actions harmoniously until the body returns to the starting position.

  • The straight body-line moves diagonally downwards and backwards.

  • In this phase, the back leg calf muscles work eccentrically.

  • At the end of the movement, feel the familiar calf muscle stretch again when the heel touches the floor.

  • It is okay to perform a few repetitions.

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