Gastrocnemius fascia release – for lateral outer knee pain, tight calves, Achilles pain and plantar fasciitis

I probably have more CALF release videos on this channel than any other body part! No doubt that’s because I need them. Like…a LOT. Any of you with tight/big calves will sympathize!

This is my new favorite way to release my calves – using a SOFTBALL.

Why a softball?

Since I have big calves, and the most restriction is in the OUTER part of my giant calves, it’s challenging to get enough leverage on a foam roller. The foam roller works for sure, but I am all about being as effective as I can, and if I can get 10% more by using a softball…I will.

The softball creates the perfect maneuverable tool, because you can bend and straighten your leg as needed (which is a lot harder to do on a foam roller). So this works really well for that outer gastrocnemius fascia.

Why release your outer and middle calf fascia?

This technique can help or eliminate the following:

Lateral outer knee pain
Shin splints
Achilles pain or tendonitis
Heel pain / plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis / arch pain
Inner calf cramps
And more!


Hunt for the best spots and when you find one, stay on it
Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each spot, going over it SLOWLY to shear those fascial fibers
For knee pain go after the outer upper portion of your calf
For Achilles pain go after the entire calf
For plantar fasciitis explore the whole calf
What works for me might not work for you – experiment and find what works for YOU.

For even better results, combine this with other techniques here on Mobility Mastery:

The ONE stretch
Hamstring release
Tibialis anterior/Peroneal release

Share your results below and inspire someone else to get to work and feel better fast!

  • Jana says:

    Finally picked up the softball last night and tried this – amazing! Especially in the left calf, I found great (aka, “OOO-wee!) places to work on. I was surprised because I don’t feel anything much in my calves with the “one stretch” after a few weeks of 3-4 days/week. (That one started out really painful on the left side, too.)

  • This technique is great! I didn’t have a softball handy. I used a lacrosse ball. It worked pretty well. Thanks for the tip!

    • Glad to hear that Theresa! A lacrosse ball will be a little harder to navigate around, but sometimes we gotta use what we have on hand 🙂

  • Yep. I like this. I did both calves a couple of different times last night (luckily I had a softball that I got specifically for the bicep release technique). I’ve previously also tested your opposite shin on the calf on the foam roller and the rolling pin on the chair techniques. In my limited experience, I prefer the rolling pin on the chair technique. I feel like I can angle it really well to get all parts of the calf, including the outer gastrocnemius areas and, more importantly for me, also get a lot more pressure/leverage to really pin the fascia. Plus, I feel like I can get a lot better release with the foot circles and point and flexes. All your techniques work great. The rolling pin just seems to work easier and ultimately better for me. It’s really helping my Achilles Tendon issue. Plus, I’m thinking the variety and a combination of all three may ultimately be the best bet for my purposes. Thanks.

    • You’re welcome Dexter! I love offering all of these options because our anatomy is all so different, and each tool offers something a little different. Love your enthusiasm and willingness to try them all! Congrats on problem solving your pain and earning yourself those results 🙂

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