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  • Soleus Strengthening Exercise for Runners

    The soleus muscle, a less-recognized but essential component of the calf, resides beneath the more prominent gastrocnemius. It primarily functions as a plantar flexor, playing a pivotal role in activities like walking, running, and jumping. However, its significance extends beyond simple motion; during running, it acts as a decelerator of dorsiflexion when the foot contacts the ground. A weak soleus can lead to excessive strain on the Achilles tendon and disrupt lower leg harmony. To fortify this muscle, exercises like the “Balanced Reach Exercise” are invaluable.

    Stand on one leg, engage your core and glutes, bend the knee to dorsiflex the ankle while reaching forward with your foot. This exercise mimics the soleus’ action during running and enhances strength and control in this important muscle. Vary directions to work multiple planes and aim for one minute on each leg, gradually increasing as you progress.