The almighty calf.

Often under appreciated, the calf is one of the hardest working muscles in the body.

Recent research from the University of Melbourne has shown that the calf muscles are critical to walking, jogging and running. They produce forces of 6-8 x Body weight every step you take!

Other research has also shown the soleus calf muscle, together with muscles of the hip, play an important role in stabilising the knee to minimise ACL loading and injury risk. These muscles do all this even though they are not directly attaching to the knee itself!

We can target and prepare these muscles with specific simple exercises.

For calf control and strength, here are a couple of our favourite exercises…

References:

Dorn et al. (2012) Muscular strategy shift in human running: dependence of running speed on hip and ankle muscle performance

Maniar (2018) Non-knee-spanning muscles contribute to tibiofemoral shear as well as valgus and rotational joint reaction moments during unanticipated sidestep cutting.