Fun Body Facts:
The muscle that can pull with the greatest force is the Soleus. It is found below the Gastrocnemius (calf muscle). It is considered a very powerful muscle along with calf muscles because it pulls against the force of gravity to keep the body upright, by stopping the body from falling forward.
Due to the strength of the Soleus muscle, it’s one of the most important when it comes to walking, running and dancing. For this reason athletes and people who stand on their feet for extended periods of time need to regularly stretch the Soleus to avoid it becoming too tight and affecting their gait.
Soleus (sō’lē-əs) is the Latin word for a flat sort of sandal. This is the flatter and deeper of the two muscles comprising the triceps cruri.
The flat fish called sole and the word for the bottom of one’s shoes also derive their names from this Latin word.
Stop Muscle Cramps in Calf
Many times people will get cramps or Charlie horses in their calves while in a resting position, such as, sitting or lying down. These cramps can also occur during over exertion during sports or with growing pains.
When this happens, most of the time it means that the person is low on electrolytes. A good way to stop the cramping fast is to eat a dill pickle or drink the juice. The mix of the vinegar and the salts in the pickle juice stops the cramping and replenishes the electrolytes.
Did You Know…
The calf muscle can play a big part in plantar fascistic pain in the foot. When the calf becomes too tight, it pulls on your Achilles’ tendon and creates tension on the plantar fascia. By stretching and massaging the calf and the front of the lower leg on a regular basis can reduce some of the tension within the foot as it heals.
The English word “calf” for a muscle in the lower leg comes from an Old Norse word, kálfi. It is related to the Irish Gaelic word “calpa.” The fleshy muscular back part of the human leg between the knee and ankle.
Anterior shin splints (toward the outside of the leg) usually result from an imbalance between the calf muscles and the muscles in the front of your leg. Stretching and massaging the front of the leg and the calf after walking or sports activities will help maintain balance in the lower leg.
Lower Leg Self Care Suggestion
An awesome self care tool that I recommend for working the lower leg is the FasciaBlaser Mini 2. This tool allows you to work the fascia in the leg without much effort. The tool helps in releasing lesions/scar tissue by using an up and down or back and forth scrubbing like motion that helps release tension in the muscles and ligaments that may be causing limited range of motion.
When using this tool I recommend only using it for a max of 5 minutes at a time. If you feel the area needs more work, let it rest and come back to it at least 4-6 hours later. Despite of the name “Fasciablaster,” you’re not going to want to blast out the area your working on. Take your time to release the fascia a little at a time, because being too aggressive may leave you with undesirable results or too much stippling (looks like a bruise) on the skin.