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Soleus Muscle

General Anatomy- The Soleus muscle is a muscle that is superficial to the gastrocnemius. It originates from the superior tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane and then inserts into the posterior calcaneus via the calcaneal tendon. It is innervated by the Tibial nerve and plays a role in the plantar flexion of the foot.

Exercises The following exercises are all closed chained exercises due to the fact that all three exercises are done with the foot fixed to an ob ect !In these cases"

the bosu ball, the elevated platform and the leg press machine#. Seated $ent-%nee &umbbell 'alf (aise )lace an elevated platform in front of the flat weight bench. Grasp a barbell with your hands and sit on the edge of the bench with your *nees bent. )osition your toes over the edge of the platform and position the barbell over the top of your *nees. !+eft )icture# )lantar-flex your an*les to rise your heels as high as possible !(ight )icture#. This phase of the wor*out causes the soleus to contract concentrically. &orsiflexion your an*les to lower your heels downward. This phase of the wor*out causes the soleus to contract eccentrically. This exercise was the simplest and by far the easiest to do. ,owever, it didn-t feel li*e I was doing as much wor* compared to the other exercises during concentric contraction and eccentric contraction.
Starting Position (Dorsal Flexion)

End Position (Plantar Flexion)

'alf )ress .achine Set yourself up in the calf press machine with the balls of your feet on the platform. This will let you lower your heels toward the floor. /ndo the machine0s safety latch and release the weight onto your calves. &orsi-flex as far as you can toward the floor to lower the weight, and then )lantar-flex your an*les as far as you can. This phase of the wor*out causes the soleus to contract concentrically. +owering the weight down bac* to starting position cause the soleus to contract eccentrically. This exercise is more of an isolated exercise because it mainly targets the muscle of the calves without any assistants from the other leg muscles due to the sturdy base of the platform on the machine. It also felt li*e I had a lot more range of motion with this wor*out than all the others during dorsal flexion which in turn meant that the soleus had to do more wor* to fully plantar flex the foot due to the extra distance.
Starting Position (Plantar-Flexion)

End Position (Plantar Flexion)

$osu $all ,eel (aises )osition yourself on the center of a bosu ball with or without weight in each hand. )lantar flex your an*les to lift your heels as high as possible while *eeping your balance. This will be the phase where the soleus will contract concentrically. &orsiflexion your an*les to lower your heels bac* onto to the bosu ball. ,owever, try to do it as slow as possible while *eeping balance. This phase of the exercise will cause the soleus to contract eccentrically. 1ut of all 2 exercises I have tried, this one is the most difficult. &ue to the instability of the $osu ball, it is very hard to *eep your balance during dorsal flexion. As a result it causes your body to start recruiting other muscles in your leg to try compensate for the instability and can be a challenge even without weight.
Starting Position (Plantar-Flexion)

End Position (Dorsal-Flexion) 0

Soleus Strain The soleus, along with the gastrocnemius, forms the calf. &uring exercises that cause these muscles to contract, there is tension being placed on it. A soleus strain occurs when this tension is greater than what the soleus can handle, which thereby causes the muscle fibers in the muscle to tear. This can be seen in patients that do exercises that cause the soleus to contract suddenly !i.e. football, tennis, etc.#. It can also occur due to fre3uent straining of the muscle that can lead to tears due to overuse !i.e., distance running#. 4ormally, a soleus strain is acute but can 3uic*ly turn chronic if ignored. )atients who have a strained calf feel a sharp pain and may experience stiffness as it-s about to tear. )atients will also experience pain during activities li*e going up and down stair, wal*ing, or any other activities that puts weight on the muscle. An examination of a physician is re3uired to diagnose a soleus tear or a .(I scan, in rare cases, to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of a soleus strain is the same for most strains, use of the (I'5 method !(est, Ice, 'ompression, 5levation# helps decrease the time it would ta*e for the muscle to heal. 4SAI&s !non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs# are very helpful with the reduction of swelling and pain. To protect the soleus from sustaining further damage, the use of crutches is normally suggested. )hysiotherapy can also be done on the muscle to prevent a recurring in ury. This includes" Stretches, soft tissue massage, orthotics and various types of therapeutic exercises, li*e calf stretches and calf raises using only body weight.

Articles6 Motor Unit firing behavior of soleus muscle in sometric and d!namic contractions by 7ouni %allio, 7anne Avela, )aavo v. %omi, 8essa +innamo, %aren Sogaard, ,arri Selanne
Pur"ose6 The purpose of the study was to identify the possible differences in Soleus motor unit discharge rates !./&(# between isometric, concentric and eccentric contractions through the utili9ation of highly selective wireelectrodes to understand the detailed control of human locomotion and balance. Sub#ects6 :: physically active males !;<.:=;.; yr. :.>:=?.?@ m >:.A=B.C *g nstruments6 An*le dynamometer pedal mounted with tor3ue and angle sensors. C point seat belt system with thigh and an*le straps to maximi9e stability during testing. A cable pulley system where the foot pedal was attached via the pulley. $ipolar silver chloride miniature electrodes with ;?mm inter-electrode distance were used to collect global 5.G !5lectromyography# data from the soleus and the gastrocnemius medialis muscle. Dour separate bipolar fine-wire electrodes were inserted in to the soleus with a ;;guage needle and were used to provide potential signals for decomposition. The measured Tor3ue signal was sent to a computer via A-& board '5& :C?:E. The signals were collected and analy9ed using Signal software. Procedures6 All sub ects warmed up for ;?-;@ min with :? minutes of light cycling on a bicycle ergometer, @-:? minutes of submaximal and for practice @ maximal isometric plantar flexion. Sub ects were then as*ed to perform slow maximal dorsi and plantar flexion in the an*le dynamometer without externalFadditional load. The range of motion was calculated as the difference between the two maximum angles. The IGA was determined by subtracting :@ degrees from the maximal voluntary dorsiflexion angle. All

isometric contractions were performed at each sub ect0s IGA and with a fixed straight *nee. The sub ect then proceeded to perform maximal voluntary contractions !.8'# via isometric planter flexion for approximately @s into the an*le dynamometer. This was repeated ; times, however if the maximal force value between trials differed by more than :?H further trials were performed. A 2 minute rest was given between successive .8' trials. The sub ect was then instructed to do submaximal trials of isometric contractions and dynamic contractions. a. Isometric 'ontractions6 the force levels used in the contractions were :?, ;?, C?, <?, >? and :??H of the isometric .8'. The sub ects were instructed to match the target force level for each percentage and hold it for a period ranging from :?s at :? and ;?H .8' to a couple of seconds at :??H .8'. This was practiced the tas* several times before the insertion of the electrodes. b. &ynamic 'ontractions6 Sub ects were re3uired to lift !concentric contraction# or lower a weight stac* that was attached to the foot pedal via a cable pulley system. This was controlled voluntarily at :?degsFs by the sub ects through the guidance of visual feedbac* of the an*le angle. To ensure that the an*le tor3ue during was e3uivalent to the corresponding isometric condition, the weight was ad usted. The submaximal force levels in dynamic measurements corresponded to :?, ;? and C?H of the isometric .8'. $esults The analysis of the ./&(s was based on @AA2 motor unit firings from :>A different motor units. In IS1 contractions, the ./&( increased significantly with force. The ./&( increased significantly from :? to ;?, C? to <?, <? to >? and >? to :??H .8'. 5very time the force increased, new motor units were recruited with generally lower initial firing rates compared to units that were already active at lower force levels. This showed that the average difference in ./&( between force-levels was larger within motor unit pairs when compared to the overall analy9ed units. The 2 lowest force levels of all the 2 contraction types were measured and showed that the ./&( was significantly affected by the contraction types. ./&( during concentric contraction was shown to be higher than isometric and eccentric contractions. ,owever, there were no significant differences in the ./&( for eccentric and isometric contractions.

Discussion The soleus motor unit discharge rate was found to increase with activation levels up to :??H .8' and are highest in concentric contractions in all measured submaximal trials. %nal!sis This article does a great ob of accurately described with the title and was represented well by the abstract. The introduction did a good ob with the introduction of the purpose of the study. The design used was flawless, in my opinion, at ensuring the least amount of systematic error and diminishing the effects of random errors that may occur. The text presented the tables and figures for the results clearly. 1n the sub ect of the discussion portion of the article, I would-ve added the significance of the results and how it will affect understanding of human locomotion and balance.

&adaveric Stud! of the 'ariant Soleus Muscle $y &r. Sharad*umar )ralhad Sawant, &r. Shaguphta T. Shai*h, &r. S. &. +ele, &r. Shaheen (i9vi, &r.S.(..enon, &r. (. /ma. Pur"ose( To study the accessory soleus muscle Sub#ects6 @? limbs of ;@ donated embalmed cadavers !:@ males I :? females# ranging from ages A? to >? years. nstruments( Although not stated in article, it can be assumed a dissection device was used to dissect the limbs. Also a camera was used to assist in the recording of the variation of the soleus muscle. Procedures6 4ot set procedure was recorded other than the dissection of the limbs. $esults6 1ut of all the specimens that were observed, variation of the soleus muscle was found in one specimen. The lower limb of one of the female cadavers had 2 separate heads of soleus muscle. The ; heads that originate from the fibular and tibial head and the 2rd head which originates from the tendinous arch placed between the tibial and the fibular origins of the muscle. The variation was unilateral and was not observed on the right lower limb of the same cadaver Discussion( The accessory soleus muscle present in .A to @.@H of the population and is a rare anatomical variation that can present as a soft tissue tumor. The accessory soleus muscle runs anteriorly and medially until it reaches the Achilles tendon from its origin. The accessory soleus muscle is usually observed during the second or third decade of life and more often in male at a ;6: ratio. %nal!sis6 This article was a bit difficult for me to understand. The title was a bit misleading, at first. ,owever after reading the article, it was made apparent that the terms accessory soleus and variant soleus are interchangeable. The procedural design of it was none existent, but that may be attributed to the simplicity of the actual procedure, which was ust dissection. The results were fairly standard. The discussion, however, was very informative. It managed to show a relationship between the result and the theoretical frame

wor*, which came from a piece of literature that was cited in the article. ,owever, there was an inconsistency between the discussion and the observationsFresults. In the observationsFresults, it was stated that the variation was found in the Jleft lower limb of a female cadaverK. ,owever, in the discussion, they go on to say that Jin the present case the variation was observed in male specimenK. They did do a fairly good ob on the presenting of the clinical significance their research, which is that the presence of the variation of the soleus can lead to confusion, li*e the title, during surgical procedures and that the lac* of *nowledge of its existence of such variances can complicate surgery.

)or*s &ited
:. 'houeiri, (., Soleus exercise, Woman The Nest, http6FFwoman.thenest.comFsoleus-exercises-:<C>.html !4ovember @,;?:2# ;. 'alf Strengthening 5xercises, WebMD, http6FFwww.webmd.comFfitness-exerciseFguideFstrengthening-calfmusclesLpageM; !4ovember @,;?:2# 2. 'alf Strain!Soleus#, PhysioAdvisor, C. .arieb, 5.4. and ,oehn, %., ;?:?, Human Anatomy & Physiology 8th edition, $. 'ummings, San Drancisco, :::C p.