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Gastrocnemius Muscle

The Gastrocnemius is the visual muscle that can be seen in the back of the leg. Together with the Soleus and Plantaris muscles they are what is known as the Triceps Surae, or otherwise known as the calf muscles. The Gastrocnemius splits into two heads known as the Lateral head, the outer side, and Medial head, the inner side. Both of the Gastrocnemius heads start at the top of the calf, at the knee joint, meet in the lower middle part of the calf and together with the other muscles, ends attached to the achilles tendon. The Gastrocnemius is a power muscle which helps with moving the leg forward. It plays an important part in many exercises and everyday activities such as walking, running and jumping. Because the Gastrocnemius connects with the knee and the ankle joints, it helps the movement of both areas.

Here is a great stretch for the Gastrocnemius muscle;

 

 

 

 

Technique:

  • Stand on a raised object or step
  • Place the toes of one foot on the edge of the step
  • Keep your leg straight
  • Let your heel drop towards the ground

 

Primary muscles: Gastrocnemius.
Secondary muscles: Tibialis posterior. Flexor hallucis longus. Flexor digitorum longus. Peroneus longus and brevis. Plantaris.

 

Injury where stretch may be useful: Calf strain. Achilles tendon strain. Achilles tendonitis. Medial tibial pain syndrome (shin splints).

 

Note: Make sure your toes are facing forward during this stretch. Pointing your toes in a different direction will place an uneven tension on the calf muscles and can lead to a muscle imbalance.

 

 

 

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