Is it all in the calf muscle?
When an athlete comes into you with a tight calf muscle, one of the questions asked is - do you stretch? Often the answer is “Yes, I have tried many stretches but they do not seem to work very well”. I have also tried the foam rolling it helps a little. And having a calf massage feels good afterwards but the muscles soon tighten back up again.
What else could I try?
The question maybe are the calf muscles the problem or are they reacting to something else going on? What are the quads and hamstrings doing? Are they tight ? What’s happening at the foot? It’s always worth checking motion in the back, hips and pelvis for mobility and strength. A compensation of some sort in these areas could influence a calf muscle tightness.
Ankle mobility - check for restrictions around the ankle joint - trying to mobilise the ankle joint with non-weight bearing exercises will give an indication of movement of the ankle and compare with the other ankle. Using bo