The calf is a vital group of muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) for endurance athletes, especially runners. That’s because it serves to provide shock absorption and propulsion during gait and running.
When assessing the performance capabilities of the lower leg, having adequate calf strength/endurance, as well as ankle dorsiflexion mobility are important. Both of these areas are needed for optimal mechanics and performance of the lower extremity.
What I find is that runners are often lacking in at least one, if not both, of these areas. That’s when a mobility first or combined approach needs to be taken to resolve the missing ankle dorsiflexion before strength and endurance can be effectively improved. It’s not that strength and endurance need to take a backseat, but it becomes harder to improve range of motion around a joint when you are simultaneously increasing tone and tension with resistance training.
In the following video, let me walk you through a simple and effective 4 exercise progression to develop strength and endurance throughout the entire ankle range of motion. This is important for runners and those needing attention to mobility, as well as strength.
Please leave a message below or contact me directly with any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART