Dynamic stretches differ from the norm in that they stretch the body through movement. Instead of putting your body into a stretched position and keeping it there as the muscles relax gradually, you move quickly into and out of a position that stretches your muscles. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions per stretch for improved calf flexibility.
Walking High Knee Lunges
Walking high knee lunges take the standard walking lunge exercise and combines it with the high knees exercise to create a dynamic stretching workout for the calves, hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes. Simply place your hands behind your head and step forward into a lunge. Bring your back leg forward and bend it as you lift it up to your waist or higher, then step forward into another lunge. Just walk forward while lunging and add a high knee between each step. A lunge with both legs counts as one rep.
Walking Straight Leg Kicks
Walking straight leg kicks stretch the calves plus the lower back and hamstrings. Be careful not to throw the legs higher than controllable or momentum may take them past a safe stretching point. To perform this exercise, hold your arms straight in front of you with your palms facing the ground. Step forward with your right foot and then kick your left leg straight up to meet your left palm. The left palm may drop to feel the foot. Alternate kicks as you walk. This exercise is best performed on level ground.
Lower Leg Calf Raises
Lower leg calf raises stretch dynamically stretches the calves from push-up position. Holding push-up position activates the abdominals and lower back muscles for stability. To perform this stretch, assume push-up position with your legs and back straight, and then alternatively push your heels into the ground. People with wrist issues may hold push up bars instead of placing their hands flat on the ground.
Cross Calf Stretch
The cross calf stretch is similar to the lower leg calf raises except that the body begins in downward dog or inchworm position. From push-up position, simply hike your hips toward the ceiling. This motion already stretches the calves and hamstrings. From there, raise onto the balls of your feet and bend one knee toward your stomach. Cross that leg behind the other and press the heel of the leg closest to the ground down. Alternate. People with wrist pain may use push up bars though this decreases the stretching range of motion.
Dynamic stretching precedes a workout. Static stretching, where a stretch is held for approximately 20 seconds, is best done after a workout. Always warm up by walking, jogging or doing some other aerobic, full-body exercise before doing dynamic stretches. Three minutes is enough for a warm-up.