Finally available from Cool East Market: Foam Half Domes!
This tool is perfect for doing your Katy Bowman calf stretch. We offer many of her books if you're curious about why calf stretch and minimal shoes go hand in hand, or if want the full instructions for her version of the calf stretch!
Here's the TLDR version: due to societal norms like shoes with a positive drop and sitting in chairs, cars etc., our calf muscles can shorten over the years— literally fewer cells in the muscle, not just "tightness." Doing a calf stretch a few times a day helps your body to understand that you are going to need that length again. This will help you transition smoothly to zero drop shoes.
Katy's version of the calf stretch using a half dome ensures that your heel isn't floating in space (as in a calf stretch on stairs) which helps get the right alignment so you're targeting the area you mean to target (floating heels often twist to offset the stretch to different muscles and ligaments), as well as creating a realistic load as both of your feet are bearing your weight.
While she calls these a Half Dome, they are more accurately described as a half cylinder and other names might include bolster, half moon, yoga block etc. Other uses include as a prop for soleus stretch, double calf stretch (you may want 2 for this if you have a larger framed body so that your feet can be wide enough apart)), balance and lateral stability work, to pop under your head in psoas release, advanced pelvic listing on non-level "ground," and more.
The durable high-density EVA foam has excellent memory characteristics - meaning it will regain its original shape after being compressed. The rollers also have rounded corners for added comfort. This is a durable and long lasting version of a foam half dome that we found through the recommendation of a RES— that's someone Katy has certified to teach her work, a Restorative Exercise Specialist.
They're affordable so that you can grab a couple for different areas of your house: standing desk, in front of a sink so you can do calf stretch while you do dishes or brush your teeth, and in the entrance hall so you can do a calf stretch before putting on a pair of minimal shoes for a walk.
Disclaimer: calf stretch should not be painful! We are not doctors nor are we RES, so when you use our products, you do so knowing that it is your responsibility to ensure your safety. We are happy to tell you what works for us personally, and we can give you the contact info for RES and other movement teachers whose work is barefoot and minimal shoe friendly, but we are not qualified to give health advice legally.
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