Ankle and calf stretches

Stretching exercises are just as essential to a comprehensive fast walking session as making the correct feet and arm movements. They are important as they bring oxygenated blood to your muscles, thus making them more supple. These exercises will allow you to become more flexible and avoid cramps and injuries (tears or strains).

You can stretch after your warm-up if necessary, but also at the end of your session once you've slowed down for a good recovery. You should breathe deeply during the exercise to ensure that it is as effective as possible.

Please note: stretches should never be done while your muscles are "cold". Make sure you listen to your body, and remember you should never feel any pain while you are stretching. 


2 exercises for stretching your calves and Achilles tendon

Using a tree for support, bend your right leg and stretch out your left leg behind you. Keeping your back straight, bend your knee further towards the tree, always making sure it stays behind your foot. Hold the position for between 10 and 15 seconds. Then swap legs 2 to 3 times

While standing with your body parallel to a railing, wall or tree, put your right heel down as near as possible to your support with your toes flexed upwards. Bend your right leg and slowly bring your knee forwards, keeping your foot firmly on the ground. Hold the position for between 10 and 15 seconds, then swap legs 2 or 3 times.

For the ankles: the heel-toe exercise

With a straight back, rock back and forth, rolling your feet from your heels to the tips of your toes, while making sure your foot bends smoothly. Do a few of these back-and-forth movements, with your knees slightly bent.