This stretch isolates the soleus and improves dorsiflexion in the foot as opposed to the PNF stretch last week which also included the gastrocnemius. This muscle inserts into the anchilles tendon, the strongest tendon in the body, and provides stronger plantarflexion of the ankle than the gastrocnemius.
To do this stretch the stretcher should lie on their stomach with one knee flexed to 90 degrees and their foot as far back as possible (toes towards their shin). The partner supports the leg with their hand around the stretchers ankle and the other on the heel of the stretcher with their forearm along the length of the stretchers foot. The partner offers resistance as the stretcher attempts to point their toes. After this stretch the stretcher relaxes and inhales deeply with their foot in the starting position. On the exhale the stretcher should contract the tibialis anterior (trying the push their toes towards their shin).
Obviously we could not include every stretch required for this sport instead this blog will aimed to cover the main stretches used and maybe a few you may not have thought of previously. Please remember to follow the safe stretching tips we have given you in the previous blog as well as the individual safety tips for static and PNF stretching.
Images taken from "Lower Body Stretches" wall chart by B. Walker.