Gastrocnemius & Soleus (Calf) Dynamic Release a.k.a. Pin and Stretch (Self-Administered)

Gastrocnemius & Soleus (Calf) Dynamic Release a.k.a. Pin and Stretch (Self-Administered)


This is Brent of the Brookbush Institute, and in this video we’re going to progress from our static self-administered release techniques with a foam roll, and move on to our dynamic self-administered release techniques, or pin and stretch techniques. So we’re moving on from addressing those trigger points within our muscles, to starting to address the fascial adhesions and layers of connective tissue. I’m going to have my friend Melissa come out she’s going to help me demonstrate this technique. She’s going to start in a long sitting position that she used for her static release technique for her calf, we’re gonna use her trigger point roller here. She’s going to survey her entire calf, maybe from calcaneus all the way up to the back of her knee, and she is going to look for that most tender spot. Although there are some other ways to assess fascial restriction, most of them being manual techniques, we’re going to go ahead for our purposes here and being that they’re self-administered techniques, assume that that most tender spot is also a site of additional dysfunction relating to connective tissue. Maybe an increase in cross- bridging between layers of connective tissue that we need to free. Once she finds this most tender spot, I actually want her to move the foam roll just distal to that spot. So if this is the the most tender spot, the little ball of connective tissue restriction, she’s now got the foam roll abutted against it like this. My hope is is that i can use now her tibialis anterior to pull her foot up or dorsiflex, and pull the fibers of her gastroc and soleus through that connective tissue binding, breaking up some of that cross-bridging and freeing up that fascial tissue, so that we increase extensibility. So we started by finding the adhesive point, moving the foam roll just distal to it, and now we’re using her tibialis anterior to pull those fibers through the adhesive point. Now Melissa is fairly advanced here, so I need to consider how to progress my techniques which we go back to that formula, pressure equals force over area. To increase force maybe get a little deeper within this muscle, all we have to do is add the weight of her other leg. So she can start by having her foot on the floor and only a small amount of the weight of this leg putting pressure on this leg, all the way to putting this foot over her other foot so all of the way of this leg is adding additional pressure. One thing I don’t like to see guys is the butt up off the ground, thank you. If you put your butt up off the ground what I think you guys will find is, number one -it’s very hard to hold a static position, hold a nice position for long enough to finish the technique. I think you’ll also find that you add a lot of additional tension throughout your musculoskeletal system, or myofascial system. It doesn’t give us much of an opportunity to get a good release. So we’ve started by increasing the pressure here and then I would have her do her 10 to 20 repetitions, with a two to five second hold at the very top of this movement, trying to break up as much of that connective tissue binding as we can. But again Melissa is a very advanced exerciser, I don’t think this is intense enough for her, painful enough for her because you know, I’m just a little sadistic as a trainer and therapist. So we’re going to find a way to not only increase force, well let’s decrease area. Now one thing you guys got to remember with these particular techniques is we don’t want to decrease the perpendicular width of whatever we’re using for this dynamic release technique. We need to decrease the surface area this way, so that we increase pressure, without decreasing what we’re using to block that adhesive point. So although in some videos you guys see me to go to a softball, softballs are a little rough to use to increase pressure for dynamic release, or pin and stretch; because you get the adhesion pinned and then as soon as you go to pull the gastroc and soleus through it, it just goes right right around the ball. So that’s where this stuff comes in real handy. This is a quadballer and this is a footballer, and you guys can notice that I get to keep the perpendicular width, but decrease the surface area. So i’m going to have Melissa try this one first, go ahead and put her foot over and add as much pressure as she needs. See now we’re getting a little closer to that that tender area, that site of dysfunction, and she’s going to do the same thing here to second holds 10 to 20 repetitions, hoping to break up some of that fascial binding, that connective tissue binding and increase our extensibility. You want to try this one? Great! So all these products are trigger- point products guys the trigger-point foam roll, the quadballer, the footballer come in very handy for these dynamic or pin and stretch techniques. I know this isn’t an assessment video but let’s quickly break down why I would use this particular technique, number one I would assume that I’ve already done static release with Melissa for probably four to six weeks. I’ve gotten everything I can at a static release and now I need to progress this technique. Why I would address this muscle at all, if I’m using the overhead squat assessment it would be things like feet turn out, feet flattened, knees bow in, knees bow out, excessive forward lean, and potentially an anterior pelvic tilt. That stuff can all be related to lower leg dysfunction. If i was using goniometery I’d have a restriction in dorsiflexion that I had already tried to reduce with static release techniques and perhaps stretching, and I still needed maybe an extra 3-5 degrees. Let’s say I got Melissa to 12 degrees of dorsiflexion and my goal is 15 to 20 degrees, maybe I’ll progress to this technique and see if I can get a few more degrees of dorsiflexion out of it. Or if I’m using that gastroc soleus muscle length test, I can look at that test and if I see that there’s restriction primarily in the gastroc complex, that would help me narrow down what I need to release to just the upper half of the calf complex; as my gastroc does not continue all the way down to my calcaneus. I hope you guys enjoy using this technique. I hope you guys see additional benefit from progressing from static to dynamic release, or pin and stretch, and I look forward to hearing all about the outcomes you guys get with your clients patients and athletes. I’ll talk with you soon. you

9 Replies to “Gastrocnemius & Soleus (Calf) Dynamic Release a.k.a. Pin and Stretch (Self-Administered)”

  1. Great video, I love your channel and book, although I'm not a therapist, but unfortuntely I can't seem to find someboy like you here in Germany 🙁

  2. I tried your technique just as i was having soleus muscle fatigue/sore post running, and it actually worked, it felt better and relieved most of the soreness immediately. Thanks

  3. Ok doc. # feedback , keep the explaining simple and less class room words , for the public. Not only for Melissa.👍🙊

  4. Other possibilities:
    Wrap an elastic band (teraband) around your calf (or any part of your leg really) and try walking around with it. Poke the relaxed muscle with a pen or other stick at various points.

  5. I've been battling with a solueus tention/pain when I run for weeks. It has only manifested when I've tried to run and has really haulted my ability to sprint or run at pace. I LITERALLY just started using the technique in your video and I am already feeling a level of relief from the tension I didn't even realize I had. You have yourself a new subscriber in me sir.

  6. Get to the point, are you eventually going to explain how to get rid of this pain in my leg. I'm halfway thru the video, NOT a physiotherapist, get to the exercise already!

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