There are many types of muscles in our body, each of which requires a particular workout session. And so does the soleus muscles.
Curious about what is it?
It is a flat and broad muscle located just beneath the gastrocnemius muscle. Technically speaking, it comes from the head of the fibula, the posterior border of the fibula, and the tibia’s sole line/medial border. Practically speaking, it starts from the two shin bones, starting just below the line of the knee joint.
The soleus muscle function in a way that helps you stay injury-free while running. One of the two muscles in your calf is the soleus. The gastrocnemius muscle is the other. The soleus muscle lifts your heel when your knee is bent, causing the toes to point downward—controlling how the ankle and knee bend is also beneficial.
That brings us to the question: What are the best workout exercises to strengthen the soleus muscle?
Honestly, the soleus muscle workout is pretty much like any other regime. The exercises are focused here on targeting the soleus, which is majorly done by executing calf lifts with your knee bent to 90 degrees.
Here are the four best exercises to strengthen the soleus muscle:
Double-Leg Calf Raise
The traditional calf-strengthening exercise is the calf raise. In this exercise, the soleus is strengthened and toned with the help of your body weight. The first step is to balance yourself against a wall. Next, you must spread your feet to preserve your joints and ensure that your hips, knees, and ankles are vertical. Now, step forward by applying pressure to the balls of both feet. Instead of twisting your body forward or backward, keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so you travel straight upward.
Single-Leg Calf Raise
Another one to be included in the soleus muscle workout would be a calf raise on one leg. Start by standing with one leg behind you, near a wall, for balance. To protect the joints, ensure the ankle, knee, and hip of the leg you’re working on are all vertical. To lift your body upward, press down with your foot’s ball. It would help if you tried to keep your abdominal muscles tight, further preventing shifting forward or backward.
Seated Calf Raise
This exercise can be performed on a calf exercise machine at home or in the gym. Both the gastrocnemius and soleus are worked during the training. Set yourself up in the calf press machine with your feet flat on the platform as your starting position. You can now bring your heels closer to the ground. Release the weight onto your calves by releasing the machine’s safety clasp. Press into the balls of your feet to lift your heels as far as you can. Step two: Lower the weight by lowering your heels as much as possible toward the ground.
The following workout for soleus muscle will help you tone and strengthen your calves. Excellent calf-strengthening activities include running, walking, and climbing, especially when you travel uphill. Your calves work harder the steeper the ascent is.
Does it even matter?
Is it necessary to pay attention to the soleus as part of your exercise or rehabilitation program? Probably.
The primary ankle plantar flexors are the lower-limb muscles in charge of pushing firmly on the ground while running (gastrocnemius and soleus). When combined, it has been demonstrated that both account for most of the ground reaction force in the vertical direction and virtually all of the propulsive components of the ground reaction force in the anterior/posterior order when running.
In other words, a workout for the soleus muscle does affect how well you run. Due to the stimuli that originate from essentially type II muscle fibers, it is reasonable to assume that the gastroc has a higher ceiling in enhancing explosiveness and strength. Does that imply that one should ignore the soleus? Nope. Does this mean that a 30-minute workout for the soleus muscle should be included in an hour-long strength and conditioning session? Yes, and a gym is your way to success over here.
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