The tibialis raise, also known as the tib raise, has exploded in popularity in recent years after Ben Patrick showed the world just how important a strong tibialis anterior is for athletic performance.
For the last few years, I’ve been diligently doing my tib raises multiple times a week, so I know everything there is to know about this exercise.
I’ve also reviewed just about every tib bar on the market, so I know all about the equipment used in this movement too.
Today we’re going to cover exactly how to perform the tibialis raise (including several variations), why you absolutely must be doing this exercise as an athlete, and much more.
How To Perform The Tibialis Raise
The tibialis raise can be performed in a variety of ways, but some work a lot better than others.
Let’s start with the smartest ways to do this movement.
Standing Tibialis Raise (Against The Wall)
This is the simplest way to do tibialis raises and can be done virtually anytime, anywhere.
- Lean your back up against a sturdy wall – make sure your lower back stays flush against the wall!
- Dorsiflex your toes (bring toes towards your face) and squeeze at the top of the movement before lowering back down.
Your goal should be 25 consecutive reps, pausing for 2 seconds at the top of the rep, and 2 seconds at the bottom of the rep, according to Ben Patrick‘s ATG Zero program.
If you’ve never done these before, you should feel a pretty good burn in the front of your shins.
Pro-Tip: The further from the wall your feet are, the tougher these will be. Also the higher your heel is, the more difficult these become.
So the toughest version of the standing tibialis raise would be to have your feet quite far from the wall, wearing something like Air Maxes with a big thick heel on them!
Eventually, this method will become quite easy and you’ll need to do tens of reps before you start to feel anything, so it’s best to move on to the next variation as soon as possible.
Tib Bar Tibialis Raise
This is the best way to perform tibialis raises because you can load up with as much weight as you need.
Using a tib bar is fairly straight-forward,
- Load up your tib bar.
- Wedge your feet between the top and bottom bars.
- Scoot back onto an elevated platform like a bench or plyo box and hang your feet off the edge.
- Start dorsiflexing those ankles!
Again, try to squeeze at the top of the rep.
I typically do about 12-25 of these.
Whenever I can’t do 12 reps in a set, I know I’ve probably gone slightly too heavy.
Anterior Tib Machine Tibialis Raise
If you’re lucky enough, your gym might actually have some full blown machinery you can use to work those tibs…
An anterior tib machine is super simple to use and provides an amazing stimulus.
These come in lots of different shapes and sizes, but they all work more or less the same way.
Single Leg Tibialis Raise
You can also do single leg tibialis raises, using a single leg tib bar.
The benefits of doing this exercise unilaterally are:
- You can improve muscle imbalances,
- You can engage a wider array of lower leg muscles by doing eversion/inversion and rotational movements,
- Great for rehabbing an injury.
Each single leg tib bar is slightly different, but the process is pretty much the same.
The drawback of doing tib raises unilaterally is that it takes a little longer to give both of your legs a workout.
How Not To Perform The Tibialis Raise
Since the actual tib raise movement is super rudimentary – you’re literally just dorsiflexing your ankle – people have come up with all sorts of tib bar alternatives to save a couple bucks on equipment.
I don’t recommend these methods, mainly because they’re fiddly/annoying to set up, but if you’ve got the time and patience, go crazy!
Banded Tibialis Raise
Dumbbell Tibialis Raise
There’s a few more creative tib bar alternatives you can try too, but I’d strongly recommend investing the $50 to get yourself a tib bar that’ll keep your tibs strong forever!
Tibialis Raise Equipment
As we’ve discussed, there’s quite a range of equipment you can use to train this muscle group.
Here at A1Athlete, we’ve tested and reviewed most of this equipment, so we know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
My current favorite way to train my tibs is just to use a regular bilateral tib bar.
They’re super affordable, portable, and absolutely crush your shins.
Single Leg Tib Bar
If you want the best possible lower leg stimulus, a single leg tib bar is going to be slightly more effective overall.
As I mentioned, it’s a little slower to use than a normal tib bar, but you can do quite a bit more with them.
Anterior Tib Machine
If you’re decking out a home gym, or commercial gym for that matter, an anterior tib machine might be the way to go.
They don’t take up too much room and they’ll last longer than a tib bar.
Tib Raise Benefits
I’ve written a whole article discussing the benefits of the tibialis raise, so definitely check that one out.
But to quickly summarize,
- Improved balance
- Improved deceleration
- Improved ability to change direction
- Improved vertical jump
- Improved injury resistance
There’s plenty more too, so make sure you check out the full article!
Tibialis Raise – Sets & Reps
Anywhere from 12-25 reps is fine for these, depending on how much weight you’re using.
The benchmark for standing tibialis raises is 25 consecutive reps.
And the ATG standard for tib bar tibialis raises is 25% of your bodyweight for 5 sets of 5 reps.
I prefer doing considerably higher rep ranges than this, but note that the ATG approach is to build strength more so than hypertrophy.
Tibialis Raise: Muscles Worked
The primary muscle used in the tibialis raise is of course the tibialis anterior.
Using a single leg tib bar, you have the ability to focus more on inversion/eversion as opposed to dorsiflexion, which allows you to also target your peroneals, tibialis posterior, FDL, and hallucis muscles.
What’s The Verdict?
If you’re an athlete that jumps or runs, you absolutely need to be giving your tibialis some loving.
The tibialis raise is not only a super simple muscle to train, but it actually feels strangely enjoyable as well.
There’s nothing quite like getting an epic tib pump in the gym!
Put simply, the benefits of bulletproofing your tibs are pretty outsized, so if you’re still on the fence, be sure to read my other articles discussing this extremely important muscle.