How to Improve Ankle Dorsiflexion and Calf Strength for Better Performance

by Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT
Personal Training Quarterly April 2022
Vol 8, Issue 4

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This article highlights four non-traditional calf exercises that can immediately be used in strength programs for improving calf strength while also increasing ankle dorsiflexion mobility.

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This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

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References

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6. Hébert-Losier, K., Schneiders, AG, García, JA, Sullivan, SJ, and Simoneau, GG. Influence of knee flexion angle and age on triceps surae muscle activity during heel raises. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26(11): 3124-3133, 2012.

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9. Macrum, E, Bell, DR, Boling, M, Lewek, M, and Padua, D. Effect of limiting ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion on lower extremity kinematics and muscle-activation patterns during a squat. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 21(2): 144-150, 2012.

10. Malliaras P, Cook, JL, and Kent, P. Reduced ankle dorsiflexion range may increase the risk of patellar tendon injury among volleyball players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 9(4): 304-309, 2009.

11. Mauntel, TC, Begalle, RL, Cram, TR, Frank, B, Hirth, C, Blackburn, T, and Padua, D. The effects of lower extremity muscle activation and passive range of motion on single leg squat performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27(7): 1813-1823, 2013.

12. Möck, S, Hartmann, R, Wirth, K, Rosenkranz, G, and Mickel, C. Correlation of dynamic strength in the standing calf raise with sprinting performance in consecutive sections up to 30 meters. Research in Sports Medicine 26(4): 474-481, 2018.

13. Padua, D, and Clark, M. Knee injury prevention: Hip and ankle strategies. Lower Extremity Review 6(1): 23-27, 2014.

14. Padua, DA, Bell, DR, and Clark, MA. Neuromuscular characteristics of individuals displaying excessive medial knee displacement. Journal of Athletic Training 47(5): 525-536, 2012.

15. Piva, SR, Goodnite, EA, and Childs, JD. Strength around the hip and flexibility of soft tissues in individuals with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 35(12): 793-801, 2015.

16. Price, TB, Kamen, G, Damon, BM, Knight, CA, Applegate, B, Gore, JC, and Signorile, JF. Comparison of MRI with EMG to study muscle activity associated with dynamic plantar flexion. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 21(8): 853-861, 2003.

17. Senter, C, and Hame, SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: Implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Medicine 36(8): 635-641, 2006.

18. Signorile, JE, Applegate, B, Ducque, M, Cole, N, and Zink, A. Selective recruitment of the triceps surae muscles with changes in knee angle. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 16(3): 433-439, 2002.

19. Tamaki, H, Kitada, K, Akamine, T, Sakou, T, and Kurata, H. Electromyogram patterns during plantarflexions at various angular velocities and knee angles in human triceps surae muscles. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 75(1): 1-6, 1996.

20. Witvrouw, E, Lysens, R, Bellemans, J, Cambier, D, and Vandestraeten, G. Intrinsic risk factors for the development of anterior knee pain in an athletic population. A two-year prospective study. American Journal of Sports and Medicine 28(4): 480-489, 2000.

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Nick Tumminello has become known as the “Trainer of Trainers” for his ability to provide simple, honest, and immediately applicable solutions to com ...

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