Stretching & Flexibility/Calf tightness


      I was wondering what it means when one flexes a  muscle and they feel the antagonist more than the muscle they are actually using. For example, if I dorsiflex my foot while standing i feel it in my gastro and soleus. I decided to a simple passive calve stretch by standing on one foot and allowing the heel to drop. this produces discomfort in the glute.  
I know that the sciatic nerve bifurcates into the tibial nerve i actually be feeling tension from the sciatic nerve? Thanks!fy

Hi Rick,

This is quite normal (if I dorsiflex my foot while standing i feel it in my gastro and soleus); it's a form of stretching called active stretching, which you can read about here...

The muscles that run from your lower back, down your backside, hamstrings and into your calves are all interconnected, so it's quite normal to feel a stretch in any of these areas when doing a calf stretch.

And it's unlikely that you are feeling tension from the sciatic nerve. More likely tight muscles around that area like the glutes and maybe the piriformis.

I hope the above has been helpful. For more information on stretching, flexibility and sports injury management, visit Injury Fix.

Brad Walker
Founder & CEO
Injury Fix™

Stretching & Flexibility

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Brad Walker (The Stretch Coach)


I'm more than happy to answer any questions relating to stretching, flexibility and sports injury management. Including how to use stretching to improve your athletic performance, prevent sports injury and aid in the recovery of sports injury.


I'm an internationally recognized stretching and sports injury consultant with more than 20 years of practical experience in the health and fitness industry. I'm also the founder of the Stretching Institute and

Sports Medicine Australia

I've written 5 books on stretching, flexibility and sports injury, including... The Stretching Handbook (ISBN: 978-0958109338), The Anatomy of Stretching (ISBN: 978-1556435966) and The Anatomy of Sports Injuries (ISBN: 978-1556436666). Plus, I've had numerous articles published at, and

I'm a health science graduate of the University of New England, with post graduate accreditation's in athletics, swimming and triathlon coaching. I've worked with elite level and world champion athletes and I've lectured for Sports Medicine Australia on sports injury prevention and treatment.

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I've worked as assistant coach to Miles Stewart (World Champion Triathlete) and Mick Doohan (World 500cc Motorcycle Champion). Plus I've worked with countless other athletes from sports as diverse as roller-skating, squash, and cycling.

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