Slump Stretch

The slump stretch is one of those exercises that work remarkably well for clearing up calf cramps, even though it's not logically clear why.

What I mean is that while you should feel a stretch in your thoracic spine - in fact, for me that's where I feel the biggest stretch, especially in the morning - the nerve that innervates the calf muscle joins the spine at S1 and S2, your sacral spine.

You'll also feel a stretch in your calf muscles, but it doesn't appear to be the muscle stretch that is relieving the cramp because all the calf stretches I have ever done have done nothing in this regard. This is why I think it has something to do with getting the nervous system.

The bottom line is that the slump stretch works to relieve calf cramps for me and a number of my clients. Because the basis of coaching is finding what interventions work and using those to get the best result, this is a stretch I heartily recommend.

I failed to mention that I had some very bad episodes of cramp during my athletic career, some that lasted days and affected mostly my calves, glutes and quads. I became very sensitive to when I was on the verge of an attack of cramp. Since using this stretch, I've had no symptoms at all.

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Will Newton

In over twenty years of coaching, Will has coached everyone from absolute beginners to world champions. His interest in getting the best results for athletes who compete for the love of the sport, rather than as professionals, drives him to find the most effective ways to get results.

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