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  1. Thanks Doc, another great video with helpful tips. I ran backwards for the first time last weekend. Felt great and loosened up a lot of areas from hips down. Only problem was I rolled my ankle trying to see how fast I could run. Silly! With the squat, I find that I turn my feet outwards about 45 degrees to get low, whereas you look comfy with your feet almost straight on. Do feet turned way out in the squat position indicate tightness in a particular area?

      • I turn my feet out as well – although I can’t get anywhere near a full deep squat yet. What exercises would you recommend to strengthen the piriformis and to help keep our feet forward while doing this?

        I’m assuming that having feet turned out and practicing deep squats is going to strengthen the wrong muscles and cause issues?

  2. Hi Doc,
    Another great article. Would you recommend deep squats for pregnant women in 3rd trimester? Is it safe?

  3. Hi Sock Doc,

    I’ve been doing functional full squats for a few years. I first learned about them from Dr. Jolie Bookspan’s work. Are you familiar with it? If not, here’s a link: If you scroll down a ways you’ll see photos of people in full squat in Thailand, a posture of everyday living there (as you mention in your video is the case in many other countries).

    Since I don’t have a 2×4 yet, I haven’t tried the traverse, but I’m wondering what you are doing with your arms during that — are they hanging at your sides, or do you have them out horizontally from the shoulders? Also, if you don’t have the 2×4, would you recommend doing the mini-calf raises while in the squatting position just on the floor?

    Thank you so much for all your interesting and informative articles and videos!

    • I have not heard of him but will check it out.

      Your arms just hang relaxed by your side unless you need them for counterbalance as you’re learning. And yes you can definitely do the calf/toe raises on the floor. If you don’t have a 2X4 use the curb of a sidewalk or the edge of your stair (bottom stair not top!).

  4. If my only interest was running, not stretching makes sense. But what if I’m also into other sports like rock climbing where being very limber is a great benefit?

    • Check out the stretching articles. I don’t see why rock climbing would be any exception, especially since traditional stretching decreases stability – something you don’t want when you climb.

  5. Thank you for this article. I happened upon it after searching for more stretches for my calves after a run. I’m a new runner (8 mos) and I have suffered twice with some sort of pulled calf strain. I assume it’s from bad running form or increasing my mileage more than I should. I religiously stretch after runs to help avoid injury, since I am almost 40 and have never been athletic prior to starting running.

    My question is, have I been doing more damage by stretching (calf stretching by standing against a wall) then not stretching at all? I do dynamic stretching before but thought I was supposed to do static stretching afterwards. So confused! Would you be able to give me some guidance on what to do after a run please!

    Thanks so much!

    • Hard to say if you’ve caused any damage. After a run I personally think you should just do an easy cool-down (aerobic run lowering your HR). This is really part of the run anyway. And if you want to do some natural dynamic movements those are good too.

  6. Great video, it helped my tight calves straight away. But now when I do the squat I get a very sharp pain in my lower back when I stand up. Any idea why or what this could be?

      • Sorry I feel the need to eloborare slightly. Because of the initial tight calves & when I do a deep squat I feel it most in my hips & lower back I thought it may be a piriformis issue? I started doing piriformis stretches (this was before I saw your lower back video telling me not to!). Now the calves seem fine apart from a numbness when I run for a decent distance, but I have this sharp pain in the lower back when I move quickly (although strangely not when I run). So my question is could I have been right about it being a piriformis issue but I aggravated it with stretches or is it more likely to be a sciatic problem? And should I carry on doing the deep squats & running? Loving your work by the way!

        Many thanks

        • That’s hard to say w/o seeing you. Movement is always beneficial as long as it’s done correctly and not hindering the healing (good pain or bad pain?).

  7. Regarding eccentric heel drops – I can’t run. Not only am I currently fighting injury, I stopped running in the past because I kept getting hurt. (It’s why I switched to hockey, to avoid the pounding on my body – and it’s way better for me).

    In light of that, would it still be beneficial to do the heel drops if I don’t hold the stretch at the bottom? I was doing them, and it was seeming like it was actually helping my left achilles.

  8. Great articles, Doc. Thanks for all the info. I strained both Achilles tendons adding too many miles of hills before I was completely ready while training for my 25K goal race. Small nodule on one of them, the other was painful, but no palpable bump.

    I finished the race and since then, I’ve been doing eccentric heel drops for two months, according to Alfredson’s protocol (3 sets straight leg, 3 sets bent — 2x a day, and adding weight to backpack as I’ve progressed. I’ve taken maybe two days off this in two months).Tendons have improved greatly–running now 3x week, about 15 miles/week.

    I want to incorporate backward running into my training regimen before and after I finish the eccentric heel drops (1 more month). Should I do this barefoot? (I’m wearing my running shoes during heel drops.) Thank you.


  1. […] vertical object to get a good stretch and give them a feeling of security, as false as it may be.  The Sock Doc recently published an interesting article about this subject and some drills you can do to improve lower leg mobility. […]

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