3D Calf and Soleus Stretches

Having recently blogged about Multiplanar Strengthening Exercises, I also want to look at stretching in multiple planes of motion.

One muscle group which is regularly reported as being tight in athletes of all sorts are the muscles of the lower leg:

As I discussed in the Multiplanar Strengthening Exercises post: although the overall movement of the body is often straight line, the contributing movements joint by joint are almost always a mixture of movements in all three planes of motion. Therefore muscles controlling these joints and producing movement need to be stretched and kept mobile in all three planes.

If we look at a classic calf stretch where everything is in a straight line, the calf muscles are being stretched with the foot and ankle moving into end of range dorsiflexion, however there isn’t normally much of a stretch into pronation and supination.

Have a look at the video above and see how as we move the front leg across the body and back in a calf stretch position it works the rear foot through passive pronation and supination – thoroughly stretching the overlaying muscles in all three planes of motion.

Give it a go!

Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.


  1. Just to say thanks for the tips. And, in this case, thanks for the subtitles. I appreciate them being deaf, but I suspect others – using mobiles in crowded/noisy places for example – will also benefit. Thanks for making the effort.

  2. Hi James,

    Do we do them at the same speed as the video, or should each position be held for longer?