The gastrocnemius (commonly called the calf muscle) is found on the back of your lower leg beginning at the knee and inserting into your heel via the Achilles tendon. The gastrocnemius is one of the muscles responsible for pointing your foot away from you (plantar flexion) and it also assists in bending your knee. This muscle plays an important role in walking, jumping and running .
Calf strains or tears can occur during activities such as running and jumping, or with quick and forceful movement such as cutting or pivoting. Calf tears or strains can also occur with less strenuous movements as we age.
Try the following exercises to keep you calf muscles strong and flexible.
- Heel Raises: Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge, hold onto a railing or wall for balance. Push up onto your toes then slowly lower your heels down as far as you can. Do 2-3 sets of 10.