Calf Strengthening of the Upper Medial

Side profile close-up of the legs of a young man going up a stairs
The upper medial calf muscle is called the gastrocnemius inner head. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Your calves are made up of the triceps surae, a group of three muscles located in the rear lower leg region. The gastrocnemius is located in the upper rear lower leg region. This muscle group comprises two parts, an inner or medial head, and an outer or lateral head. These muscles all lie over the other triceps surae muscles known as the soleus. To strengthen the upper medial calf muscle, which is the gastrocnemius medial head, you must perform ankle extending exercises with your toes pointing outwards and your heels pointing inwards.

Warm Up

Step 1

Jump rope to warm up your entire body, especially your calf muscles.

Step 2

Perform three sets of three-minute intervals of jumping rope. You can also just jump rope for a single long set lasting nine to 10 minutes.

Step 3

Jump rope at a moderate intensity as this is just a warm-up.

Barbell Calf Raise

Step 1

Stand over a weight plate or sit on a weight bench holding a barbell over your upper back. It is best to do this exercise while standing to emphasize the work on the gastrocnemius muscles rather than the soleus.

Step 2

Point your toes outwards over the edge of the weight plate and point your heels inwards. Keep your heels off the weight plate. The same goes for your midfoot region.

Step 3

Extend your ankles as much as you can so you rise up on your toes. Hold the contraction for two seconds and focus on squeezing your gastrocnemius muscles, especially the medial head.

Step 4

Bend your ankles to return to the starting position, or until your heels are touching the ground.

Machine Calf Raise

Step 1

Stand or sit on the calf raise machine. In the case of the standing version, put your shoulders under the shoulder pads. For the seated version, put your knees under the knee pads.

Step 2

Point your toes outward over the edge of the machine platform of either the standing or seated version. Point heels inward so you can place the emphasis on your medial gastrocnemius muscles.

Step 3

Extend your ankles to elevate your heels and rise up on your toes. Hold the contraction for two seconds and then lower your heels down to the initial position by bending your ankles.

Things You'll Need

  • Barbell

  • Calf machine

Tip

Perform two to three exercises during your calf workouts. Do two standing exercises and one seated exercise. Include both the barbell and machine variations in your workouts to get the best results. Conclude your workouts with a low-intensity jog on the treadmill or outside to cool down your body.

Warning

Consult a physician before starting this or any other resistance exercise program if you have never engaged in this type of exercise or if you have other health issues, including high blood pressure.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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