Your soleus muscle is one of the two muscles in the posterior aspect of the calf, that is responsible for plantar flexion (lift your leg and then point your toes to the ground, this action was made by the soleus).
Soleus is a broad, flat muscle that sits close to the bone, underneath gastrocnemius, so it is not always obvious to look at. It is often the more tense of the two and is more prone to straining during exercise.
It spreads itself across the two bones of the calf, attaching to the top 2/3 of the back of the tibia and fibula and then joining into the achilles tendon. As it begins below the knee joint, most of it’s action comes into play when the knee is bent.
With this in mind, when it comes to stretching or strengthening soleus it is important to slightly flex the knee, otherwise other muscles try to take over the action and you will not see sufficient results.
By Kristen Burgess ~ Remedial massage therapist