Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeSMR
  • Equipment RequiredFoam Roll
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypeCompression
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Calves Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Anterior Calf Foam Rolling Overview

Foam rolling your anterior calf is a great way to warm up and cool down for your workout, especially if you plan to perform lower body exercises that require the calves to be more mobile.

When you foam roll the anterior calf, or any muscle group for that matter, you alleviate some of the tension that is built up during the day and your workouts.

Anterior Calf Foam Rolling Instructions

  1. In a prone position, pull one leg into hip flexion and place the foam roller directly underneath the front of your calf between your knee and foot. Avoid the bony portion of your shin and shift a bit laterally to the muscular portion (tibialis anterior) of your calf.
  2. Support your upper body using your hands and foot. Position your other leg behind the body in hip extension.
  3. Adjust pressure into the roller by applying more or less force through the hands and foot.
  4. Slowly roll up and down the length of the quadriceps while slightly rotating the leg periodically for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Anterior Calf Foam Rolling Tips

  1. The most important thing you can remember with any soft tissue work: KEEP BREATHING. Don’t hold your breath, you want to release tension, not generate it.
  2. Do not allow yourself to fall into overextension, keep tension through the abs.
  3. If you find a tender spot, pause for 5-6 seconds and focus on slow, deep breaths and try to relax.
  4. Foam rolling may be uncomfortable but that’s not an excuse to avoid it. It hurts because there may be physiological or neurological influences generating a pain response. The more you roll the better it’ll feel provided there’s no serious underlying mechanism.
  5. Don’t slump into the shoulder capsule, maintain an active upper body.
  6. If you notice any burning, numbness, or tingling, keep moving past that area. It’s likely a nerve and pausing on it for any length of time would not be a good idea.
  7. If you find a sensitive spot, pause for a second and take the joint through flexion and extension. This a method of active release known as “tack and floss”.