By the healthiergang writer , medical student.
The sural triceps muscle is a muscle composed of 3 muscle heads: gastrocnemius (i.e. the 2 muscle heads called twins) and the soleus. These three muscles fit into a single tendon, the Achilles tendon.
I 2 muscles more superficial are the twins while the soleus has muscle fibers that run under these two. Both of these lower leg muscles (in most people) have a composition of predominantly red muscle fibers.
Le red fibers they are the type of muscle fibers that are best suited to prolonged efforts and, consequently, of medium-low intensity. The frequency with which the sura triceps can be trained can be up to 3 times a week.
It should also be considered that the ankle joint it is comparable to a second order lever and therefore to an advantageous type of lever. From this it follows that the lower leg muscles are capable of developing great efforts.
The gastrocnemius (and therefore the twins) originate in medial head (medial condyle) and from the lateral head of the femur. Inserting into two different joint heads, the gastrocnemius, unlike the soleus, is a bi-articular muscle: it acts on the foot flexion and also performs a function on the knee by participating in the flexion of the leg on the thigh.
By carrying out these two functions, the gastrocnemius can be stimulated more by placing it in a position of elongation and therefore performing calf exercises keeping the knee extended. A stimulation of this muscle is also obtained in the leg flexion exercises like the leg curl or the squat.
Il soleus originates from the head of the fibula and, like the gastrocnemius, it inserts into the calcaneal tuberosity. The soleus is a mono-joint muscle which means that its function only affects one joint, in particular this muscle contributes to plantar (foot) flexion.
By not acting as a knee flexor (as opposed to the gastrocnemius muscle) the soleus can be stimulated with greater emphasis performing seated calf exercises. This muscle is forced to do most of the work because the gastrocnemius is not in a stretched position and therefore cannot perform a maximum contraction.
How to train it?
Having made this brief anatomical explanation, the triceps muscle of the sura looks like any other muscle which, if trained with the necessary effort, is capable of hypertrophy. Unfortunately these muscles are a lot reluctant to grow.
It happens very frequently that an athlete you train heavily, even several times a week, these muscles but these do not grow 1 millimeter. It also happens that people, who have never set foot in the gym, have large dimensions in these muscles.
This all depends on the genetics which mother nature has endowed us with. If we have gastrocnemas that enter the tendon at a height of about half of the tibia, then we are out of luck. The gastrocnemius that destiny has destined for us will be short and consequently its development potential will be limited.
On the contrary if we have one low insertion of this muscle we are genetically predisposed to have this muscle more developed with therefore a greater volume. No one is an exception from this selection, not even professional body builders who are forced to artificial implants or to anabolics injected directly into this muscle.
As if that were not enough, it has been said that the triceps of the sura is able to generate a relatively high job, both in terms of the amount of weight and in terms of the duration of the exercise.
All is not lost, however, it is indeed possible get improvements.
For the gastrocnemius focus on a time under tension of about 70-90 seconds and contract the muscle to the maximum and then slowly descend and perform a pause of 2 seconds in the position of maximum elongation.
Maintain i contracted buttocks and the knee extended in order to isolate the twins as much as possible. The burning should be practically unbearable but maximum results should be achieved with 5 sets with 45 second breaks 3 times a week.
the soleus you can opt for 3 series (3 times a week) from the duration of About 45 seconds, always focus on contraction and in this case too, pause for 2 seconds in the position of maximum elongation. With commitment and perseverance you will be able to appreciate the results.