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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Runners: Choosing plyometric exercises to target the calf muscles

🏃‍♀️Did you know that your choice of plyometric exercise can target different calf muscles?🐮

🤓A recent study by Trowell et al looked to examine the demands on the individual calf muscles (lateral gastrocnemius & soleus) during running, & 4 plyometric exercises: Ankle bouncing (pogos), A skips, Bounding & Hurdle jumps.

💪They looked at a number of strength measures including peak force, peak strain, peak power generation, peak power absorption, total positive work & total negative work.

🤷‍♂️What did they find?

🔑The ankle bounce and A-skip produced relatively low plantarflexor peak forces & strain compared to running & may be appropriate exercises when runners require lower plantarflexor loads than running.

🔑Hurdle jumps produced high soleus loads but low gastrocnemius lateralis loads compared to running. These could be used when wanting to bias the soleus eccentrically or for earlier rehab in those with a gastrocs strain.

🔑Bounding induced high mechanical loads for both plantarflexors & may be best suited for late-stage rehab, uninjured runners or when eccentric overload is desired

👋If you are needing help with your calf or Achilles issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out


  • Trowell, D., et al. (2021). "A comparison of plantarflexor musculotendon unit output between plyometric exercises and running." J Sci Med Sport.

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