Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeWarmup
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypeDynamic Stretching
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Calves Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Rocking Gastrocnemius Emphasis Ankle Mobilization Overview

The rocking gastrocnemius emphasis ankle mobilization exercise is a form of dynamic stretching used to warm up the muscles of the calves.

Warming up the calves and improving ankle mobility is important for nearly every leg exercise, as well as alleviating calf muscle tightness which can lead to postural imbalances.

Rocking Gastrocnemius Emphasis Ankle Mobilization Instructions

  1. Set up with your foot on a slanted surface with your knee locked out.
  2. Rock your entire body forward while keeping the heel down.
  3. Move forward until you feel a significant stretch in the calf.
  4. Then, rock back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Rocking Gastrocnemius Emphasis Ankle Mobilization Tips

  1. Watch for a variety of compensations which typically present when someone has excessive tone within the posterior aspect of the calf:
    • The arch collapses
    • The leg internally rotates (observe the kneecap or simply palpate the tib/fib complex as you complete repetitions)
    • The heels rises off the floor
    • The hips will rotate as they respond to rotation from the lower leg
    • The knee hyperextends (if you feel pressure in the space between your hamstrings directly behind your knee, hyperextension is a likely possibility)
    • The hips stay back as the individual rocks forward - this may present as an inclined torso or a hyperextended spine
  2. You can experiment with different knee positions to stretch certain aspects of the calf more than another. None are incorrect, just experiment and become aware of certain positions which might feel tighter than others and work to correct them over time:
    • Leg slightly internally rotated
    • Leg slightly externally rotated
    • Leg neutral