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Monday, December 23, 2013

Do calf raises prevent calf injuries in running?

Do calf raises really
If your form is not like this: Work on it!
prevent calf injuries in running? The answer, in a word is "No!".

The key to preventing calf and Achilles tendon injuries in running is "good form" by which you, as a runner, have a running style that has you running from the hips - not being a "thigh and calf" runner.

Look at the best runners in the world - runners like the Kenyans - and you will see a physique where most of the muscle is concentrated about the hips.  The legs, themselves, although incredibly toned, tend to be long and thin in appearance and they rotate about the hips in a "combine harvester" like action.  The power is being derived from the powerful muscles about the hips - not the calves.  That's for sure!  A thigh and calf runner, by contrast, will have weak and wasted looking backside muscles, swollen calves that are painful if squeezed and running is more of a fast shuffle than a rolling harvester that literally eats up the ground.

With good form, the athlete appears to glide weightlessly along; whereas the clumping thigh and calf runner looks like having a life and death battle with gravity - the ground is about to swallow them up!

If you are constantly straining calf muscles while running, consider the possibility that the cause may actually be from over-working the calves due to poor running form.  Maybe, instead of pumping more weight in the gym, doing concentric and eccentric exercises, you need to spend more time on developing a more efficient running form?

Read this and watch the video:

When you come to think of it: If you think you have weak calf muscles, what could be the more perfect calf strengthening exercise for a runner than running up a hill?  When you come to think of it:
"If you are running up hills regularly, surely you will already have developed strong calf muscles?"

(Thanks, Wayne, for sending me the link to the article that follows)

Do calf raises prevent calf injuries in running?

Old man calf injuries are a scourge amongst middle-aged runners everywhere. And for one reason or another they do seem to be more common amongst men. Perhaps it’s the inability of the male of the species to accept that we’re not as fit and strong as we once were? I was able to run 4 minute kilometer pace, so I’ll just do that regardless of how long it’s been since my last run. Years – no problem. Oops I think I just pulled my calf – again!
Perhaps I’m overstating the case, calf strains and tears may well be equal opportunity injuries amongst all runners. According to running specialist and physiotherapist Blaise Dubois they are the most common muscle strain injury suffered by runners and joggers.
The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation. Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.
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