The main action of the Soleus is to plantar flex the ankle, however it is also sometimes referred to as the heart of the lower limbs for its action of forcing blood ‘venous pump’ against gravity back up towards the heart when the muscle contracts. The tendon fibres of the soleus, gastrocnemius and plantaris blend together to form the calcaneus ‘achilles’ tendon. Prolonged wearing of high heels or other lifting footwear can cause a chronic shortening of these muscles.
Option 1 ~ In a walking stance, using a wall to push against and for support, gently force the plantar surface of the rear foot towards the floor and bend the rearward knee.
Option 2 ~ Standing upon a step (possibly using a rail to grasp for support), place the heel of one foot over the edge of the step (the toes and ball of foot remain on the step), dorsiflex the ankle by lowering the heel over the edge of the step and bend this knee.
- Soleal line of the tibia and upper fibula.
- Calcaneus via the calcaneus tendon.
- Plantar flexion of the foot. Assists in foot inversion.