If you are a female that wears heels often or if you find getting depth in your squats difficult you may find that you have chronically tight calves.
The calves play a large role in facilitating the movement of a squat to allow the tibia (shins) to travel forward while still allowing your heel to maintain contact with the ground.
Keeping a stable foot and ground contact is important for proper squat mechanics. This can be inhibited by tight calves As well tight calves can cause problems above and below this area. It can impact your feet, knees, hips and more..
This has massive implications for power transfer, muscle recruitment and injury prevention and life.
There are some great tools that can be used for doing SMR (Self Myofascial Release) on your calves. I recommend using a foam roller to start. From there you can progress to a lacrosse ball and even a kettlebell. Keep in mind the harder the object you use the more intense this will be.
The best tools I have used for soft tissue work come from TP Therapy. Their products are a bit more expensive but they are top notch and an investment in your body. I have used everything and I love TP Therpay. Using the handle of a kettlebell on your calves is not for everyone 🙂 You can get more info on TP Therapy products here.
Be sure to try to relax, find the tender spots and remember to breath.
By improving tissue quality in the muscles and improving mobility and tissue restrictions you will feel better, move better, squat better and even lift heavier weights.