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Happy Muscles: Suggestions for Quick Relief

By DIMITY McDOWELL Dec 29, 2011

December 3, 2009

COLLETTE GLASS, a massage therapist in Atlanta, offers her top three moves for leg relief.

CALVES Standing, place one leg on a low chair or bench. Reach down and place thumb and forefinger of one hand on opposite sides of the top of the heel. Squeeze your fingers and slowly raise your toes, flexing your foot. Lower the foot. Repeat two more times, then move a half-inch up your leg and repeat the sequence, continuing up to the back of the knee. Repeat on other leg.

TIBIALIS POSTERIOR To reach the tibialis posterior — the muscle behind the shin — stay in the same position as for the calf massage. Starting just above the ankle, poke a thumb into the muscle behind the shin and twist your wrist, as if you’re trying to push your thumb under your shin. Flex and lower your foot three times, then move up a half-inch. “It will be most tender about three-quarters of the way up” to the knee, Mrs. Glass said, noting that this is a common place for stress fractures. Repeat on other leg.

QUADRICEPS Sitting so your knees are bent 90 degrees, make a relaxed fist with one hand, and press the knuckles into the muscle above your kneecap on one leg. Slowly straighten the leg. Lower, and repeat three times before moving up in half-inch segments to the top of the leg. If the pressure isn’t enough, apply more with your other hand, or use the heel of a hand. Repeat on other leg.

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