Easy Guide on How to Massage Tight Calf Muscles

We all have those days when we are woken up and our calf muscles feel tight. There are easy ways to help lessen the discomfort without having to seek medical attention. Here we explain the causes and how to massage tight calf muscles.

Why Do You Get Tight Calves?

There are several potential causes for tight calf muscles that are related to day-to-day activities.

  • Prolonged use of the muscle
  • Sudden increase or the start of intense use
  • Change in footwear type

A less likely, but more serious cause of discomfort is the cause of muscle tears or muscle atrophy. If you suspect either of these is the reason for your calf pain, please seek professional medical advice. 

Not treating tight calves will cause future complications that can make everyday tasks more difficult. There are several methods for how to massage tight calf muscles that can alleviate the discomfort.


Stretching is a crucial step before doing any strenuous activities. Gently stretching out the calf muscle can help to speed up the healing process and prevent any further injuries in the future. Stretching can feel slightly uncomfortable, but if it causes sharp pain you should stop and seek medical advice.

Stretching is the best way to improve mobility and relieve tension!


Resting may feel like no progress in the healing process, but, resting reduces fatigue and replenishes the glycogen found in the muscles. Raising your calves, or supporting the knees can reduce some of the strain you may experience from resting with your legs straight. 


Self-massaging, either with your hands or a massage device, can relieve sore muscles. Just like stretching, be alert for the difference between discomfort and pain. Our leg massagers stimulate the blood flow in the muscle, increasing temperature and therefore allowing the muscles to relax. Once muscles are relaxed and lengthened, improvements in posture and mobility are easily noticeable. 

Can a Massage Loosen Tight Calf Muscles?

The short answer is yes, a massage can loosen tight calf muscles. Whereas the long answer involves going into more detail about how to massage tight calf muscles.

To start, we need to remember that the calf is made up of two main muscles. The gastrocnemius and the soleus muscle. When, massaging stiff calves, aiming for trigger points in these muscles will give the most tension release. Once a trigger point (knot) has been manipulated, the whole muscle will become softer and less tight. 

How to Massage Tight Calf Muscles

Claves are an easy-to-reach area of the body with either your hands or a massage device. With advancements in technology, various massage devices make getting a deep-tissue calf massage easy. 

Calf Trigger Points and Techniques

To soothe tight calf muscles efficiently, it is best to know where the trigger points are. The calf trigger points are all located towards the top of the calf muscle, so focusing any massage on this area will be the most beneficial. 

Start with gentle pressure stroking up and down the leg to warm up the muscle, then move on to kneading the area. After several minutes of consistent kneading, you should begin to feel the knots and tightness lessen. If the muscle is still sore, apply pressure along the length of the muscle to work out any remaining tension.

To relieve tight muscles, first, identify where are the trigger points and apply gentle pressure to soften the muscle.

Massage Gun

Using a massage gun on your calves may feel like a challenge at first. The main challenge comes from locating the trigger points in the calf muscle. First, sit with your feet together in front of you for better access to the whole calf muscle, this will make for a more effective massage.

Massage guns are great to soothe sore muscles all over the body!

Foam Rollers

Foam rollers require more practice than electronic devices. So, how to massage tight calf muscles with foam rollers is to start by laying the foam roller on a mat underneath your legs. Then, take your weight in your arms and roll your calves back and forth over the roller. The relief is not as targeted as with a handheld device, but the deep and sustained pressure from a roller can help loosen tension in the calves. 

Foam rollers used before and after an intense workout will prevent tight muscles!

Trigger Point Balls

Like foam rollers, trigger point balls take some practice to get results. They are also available in a variety of sizes and densities, depending on the muscles needing relief. For the most part, using a smooth ball to massage the trigger points in your calves in a circular motion can provide relief. However, it is recommended to seek advice from a medical professional before using trigger point balls as the main source of muscle pain relief.

Trigger point balls are great for specific muscle pains, gently rolling the ball around the affected area will help relieve any tight muscles. 

What to be cautious about in a Massage

A contraindication is something that means massaging the calf muscles is not safe to perform or may cause more harm. When massaging the calf muscles, you should be aware of acute muscle strains and deep vein thrombosis

Acute muscle strains

Massage should not be applied to recent muscle strains. During the first four days following a calf strain, applying massage will make your injury worse. This will increase the chance of bleeding and prevent healing.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is a blood clot in the calf muscle area. Be aware of symptoms that are like a torn calf muscle (no calf strength, snapping sensation in your calf, and sudden pain in the lower leg), however, DVT pain is more likely to be constant. 

If you are concerned, seek medical advice as soon as possible, as there is a possibility for fatal consequences. DVT is common, especially if you are overweight, ages fifty and above, or have poor circulation.

Live your life, pain-free!

With your new knowledge of what causes and how to massage tight calf muscles, you can live your life pain-free! Check out our large selection of massagers here and make your body feel as good as your legs!

You have successfully subscribed!