Raise your hand if you can locate your soleus!

Okay, if your hand just shot up in a crowed office or at your local coffee shop go ahead and put it down, and read on; you still can benefit from this short lesson. On the other hand, if you’re racking your brain trying to locate it, please stop and let’s learn.

The soleus muscle is the plantar flexor of the ankle and it’s capable of exerting a powerful force. It is located on the back of the lower leg and originates at the posterior aspect of the fibular head and the medial border of the tibial shaft. The soleus muscle forms the Achilles tendon when it inserts into the gastrocnemius aponeurosis.

The soleus is vital to everyday activities such as dancing, running, and walking. It maintains posture by preventing the body from falling forward; it’s also what allows your foot to move up and down – something worthwhile if you ask us.

But, what does all that mean?

Often time’s people I train have trouble squatting because of poor dorsiflexion (lack of flexion in the ankles) which can be caused by tight Gastrocs or Soleus (the calf muscles).  Keep your chest up, heels down and drop into a squat.  If you are having trouble with folding forward or your heels are coming off the ground this may be one of your problems. 

Do you have pain in your calves from running or jumping? Perhaps your problems stems from a tight soleus.

Below are a few things you can do to get your soleus muscles back on track.

Wall stretch:

Wall Stretch 

  1. Stand with one leg in front of the other close to a wall. 
  2. Place your hands on the wall for balance. 
  3. Bend both knees, focusing on the back knee. 
  4. Move your weight forwards onto your toes, but make sure you keep the heel down at the back. 
  5. Hold for 10-30 seconds. 

 

Rolling your feet:

 Foot Rolling

There are a ton of benefits to rolling your feet, best yet is it only takes 2-4 minutes daily. There is really no excuse for skipping this simple exercise; by the time you finish reading this article you could be done!

Grab a tennis ball, golf ball or our personal favorite, a lacrosse ball and either sit or stand while slowly rolling the ball under your feet paying attention to any tight spots. Spend 1-2 minutes on each foot.

Here’s to healthiness and happiness for rest of your week!

-Ben