T Nation

Shin Muscle Exercises


I noticed that in the W4SB program, DeFranco never implemented exercises that work the shin muscles. I get why Defranco did not include calf or heel raises in the program because the calves already get enough work from doing lunges, glute-ham raises, walking up the stairs, etc.; however, none of the leg exercises listed in his program would effectively work the tibialis anterior muscles (the shin muscles).

I feel that in order to adequately hit the shin muscles I would have to do a toe raise exercise or a reverse calf raise exercise of some sort. I know that most trainees who are not bodybuilders don't do toe raises or reverse calf raises in their workouts. I am not feeling any wrong with my shins or feet, but I worried about developing muscle imbalances within my lower legs and/or feet. Then again, since Mr. DeFranco is considered to be one of the best performance enhancement specialists in the country, maybe there is a good reason why DeFranco didn't add an exercise such as toe raises in the W4SB program and therefore I wouldn't need worry about doing toe raises.

So I am wondering if whether or not there is a rationale for not including a toe raise or reverse calf raise exercise in a legit program for athletes -assuming that were talking about those who dont need any rehab work for lower legs or feet and/or don't have some sort of injury like shin splits-.


Do you worry about your finger extensors too?

I recovered from injury... Squats seemed to do a lot for my lower legs. I don't feel like I specifically do anything for the front part of my lower leg - but I feel them on the foam roller - so must be doing something for them. I think that squats works them. The descent portion when I close the ankle angle. But maybe I'm missing something? Maybe you do your squats a bit different?

I used to do calf raises from a step. The idea was to really feel out the range of motion in both directions and to slow control the dorsiflexion aspect before really pushing up as hard as I could and pausing. Seems to work for dancers to do that. demi plie... I don't know why you would worry about this unless you have a specific weakness or obvious muscular imbalance. Have you ever seen a person who just looked wrong because the front of their lower leg was underdeveloped?


Having the knees go over or past the toes during squatting works the soleus (inner calf) muscles while making the gastrocnemius muscles as dynamic stabilizers during the movement. However, I don't think that the tibialis anterior muscles which are in the front portion of the lower legs should be activated during squats because I believe that the only way that the shin muscles can be activated is when the feet and toes are being raised backwards and not the other way around where the shins fold onto the feet. I am concerned about this because I don't know why DeFranco didn't implement something like toe raises or reverse heel raises into the W4SB program in order to make sure that the lower leg muscles are balanced with each other. I mean, he has isolation exercises for other muscles that are not worked adequately well during compound and main exercises.


why do you think that?

why aren't you worried about your finger extensors?