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  • Writer's pictureBen Harris

How do your calves measure up?

Calf function is a important part of lower limb health and longevity. This muscle group plays an important role in the biomechanics of walking, running, hopping and balance. Calf flexibility and strength can be measured to ensure the calf muscles performing optimally.

Calf Flexibility:

Stand facing a wall with the toes and heel in a straight line. Lunge forward and see if you can get the knee to touch the wall without lifting the heel. A measurement is taken from the longest toe to the wall. The aim is to see how far back your foot can go before the knee cannot touch the wall. An ideal measure is 10cm with a difference of about 3cm between each side.

Calf strength:

Stand on one leg (can use fingertips on a wall or bench to balance). Rise up onto the toes, lifting the heel as high as you can while keeping the knee completely straight. See how many rises you can do. A strong calf should be able to achieve 25 repetitions before failure (fatigue or knee starts to bend). Rises should be slow on controlled on the way up and the way down.

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