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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

Corrective exercise strategies

Soleus stretch

We have found this to be tight in many players regardless of standard of play. The soleus muscle shortens with repetitive usage, as does the gastrocnemius muscle. The two muscles work as a unit, with the soleus functioning with the tibia from which it originates.

Position the muscle group and joint

  • The positioning for the soleus stretch is the same as the gastrocnemius stretch, except that in order to isolate the soleus muscle the knee must be flexed enough (15 to 20 degrees) to unload the gastrocnemius muscle completely.
  • The heel should be firmly on the ground.

Figure 4a. Soleus stretch.

Figure 4b. Soleus stretch. Knees bent.

Positioning errors

The soleus is a very active muscle of posture. The farther forward the body weight shifts in front of the ankle joint, the more the soleus muscle will involuntarily contract (myotactic contracture) to stabilise the tibia and fibula.