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  • Does Foot Position Matter with the Calf Raise Exercise?
    Medial and lateral gastrocnemius activation differences during heel raise exercise with three different foot positions. From the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
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  • Calf RaiseRead the full-length article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

    Calf raises are commonly integrated into training programs for the majority of individuals regardless of training status due to the performance benefits, mobility benefits, and aesthetic appeal. From the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

    Three foot positions are commonly used to target different portions of the gastroc head: 1) Internally rotated; 2) Externally rotated; and 3) Neutral.

    The rationale for varying the foot position is based on the assumption that the respective head of the gastroc (medial or lateral) will be activated to a greater extent. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the varied foot position did in fact affect the muscle activation of the calf when performing calf raises. Heel raises performed in the neutral foot position elicited similar activation of the medial and lateral gastroc heads, the externally rotated foot position had greater medial head activation, and the internally rotated foot position had greater lateral head activation.

    Therefore, the results of this study showed that varying the foot position does in fact increase the activation of specific portions of the gastroc head when performing calf raises.

  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    About the Author:

    NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the NSCA's scientific journal. This monthly publication prints original research information important to strength and conditioning practitioners. Many educational institutions, researchers, and professionals retain this journal as a valuable reference.

  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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