What do you do for your calves ?
I did seated calf raises today, and they felt okay, but they also felt more like a jerk and rock exercise, rather than a fluid and controlled motion.
Any suggestions ?
yes, take your time on the push and hold it for a second. Also, jerking is a sign of too much weight, so that may be something to look at as well.
Calves are my favorite body part to work. For *me* they develop faster than any other muscle when I'm working out and they also tend to recover faster than other muscles as well and I'm not sure why that is. I normally do calf raises on the leg press machine. I position my feet on the plate to where they are approx half on and half off (hanging off the bottom) and then do a leg press out... with the press extended I SLOWLY point my toes out at a count of 2 seconds... I then hold it for 1-2 seconds and then slowly bring my toes back at a count of about 2 seconds so each full rep lasts anywhere from 5-6 seconds. This is the only body part that I don't do a 12,10,8,6,12,12 rotation on... I normally do 6 sets of 12 increasing the weight each time starting at 70,80,90,100,110,120 (that is the weights I'm *currently* using). On the 11th & 12th rep of each set I just keep it extended as long as I can will myself to do so before slowly bringing the toes back in. I've also recently started alternating every other set to where I'll put my feet into a duck-walk stance and do my 12 reps that way just to hit them at a different angle.
If you don't have a leg-press machine available to you... you could do standing calf raises while holding dumbbells using the same count/rhythm. For that extra umph if doing standing calf raises... do them on a phonebook or step (something raised) to where you can get that stretch by going a little bit further than parallel when returning back to the start of your rep.
I love working my calves. They burn like crazy during the workout and will be tender for most of the day but usually the next day it is just a very slight tender to the touch feeling so they tend to recover super fast for some reason. Because I work my calves so hard... I have to stretch before and after because the first time I did that routine on BFL back in '03... I ended up stretching my achilles tendon because of how rapid my calves developed. For stretches I'll just throw a towel around my foot while seated on the floor and gently pull back on the top of the foot with the towel until I feel a nice stretch in my calves... holding that for about 4 seconds and then returning (doing that on both sides).
I'm looking forward to Wed now so I can workout my calves again! =)
Can you expand on your achilles tendon issue? I have been having issues with the achilles tendon on my right leg recently. It will be extremely sore and sensitive to touch after running. Especially if I squeeze it from the sides. It doesn't really bother me while running though. I read about it online and became a little nervous that if I kept running on it I may rupture it. That's why I decided to start my 2nd BFL challenge last week. I now use the elliptical to get my aerobic workout. I have always been able to get a really good workout on the elliptical. I would prefer to run (8 time marathoner) but I'm trying to give that a rest for a while. How bad was your injury and how did you work through it?
Mark, you're smart to rest your achilles. I ruptured mine while running and it was worse than having a baby! I run now, but not often, and do a ton of stretching. Take care of your achilles! :)
Was your rupture just a freak thing or were you experiencing soreness for a while beforehand? I don't think there is anything but rest to heal the achilles. I've never been much of one for resting though. I'm thankful that BFL still allows me to get a great workout without absolutely having to run. I definitely need to incorporate more stretching though.
It was a freak thing for me. I never, ever stretched though, which I do now religously. I loved to run too, and I'm thankful that I'm getting great HIIT workouts without having to run. I do run on the treadmill though some times. It seems to be gentler on my achilles, as well as my aging knees. :)
HERCDRIVER... it wasn't THAT bad... definitely not to the point of rupture (I didn't know you could actually rupture a tendon). Mine was more of a nuisance than anything. I've never been a runner (wish I could be... I just can't stand it). But I was in the military at the time and we had to PT at least 3 times a week to include running and while doing BFL I started noticing that my left achilles would just really start aching. I felt it a little in my right but mostly in my left. Throughout the day it wasn't too bad but I noticed it most either when running or while walking up and down stairs. I had gone to the physician to get a physical and approval to start BFL and I had measurements done all over from head to toe. It started bothering me at about the 5 or 6 week mark and then really started hurting at the 8 week mark. I went in to the doc (who was very impressed with my results in just 8 weeks) and had him take a look at it. He said that because of how rapidly I had developed my calves and how large they were becoming that they were now pulling up on that tendon even while not exercising and at rest. The constant tautness from the pulling up on that tendon without me stretching is what was causing the pain. He asked if I did stretches and I let him know that I did routine stretches during PT but never before or after my weight lifting sessions. He gave me some stretches to do before and after working my calves and while they didn't immediately help... over the course of the next 3-4 weeks they seemed to.
I don't stretch anything else when lifting (don't know if that is a good thing or bad thing) but on LBWO days I definitely stretch my calves and the achilles tendon to make sure I don't go through that again because it was somewhat painful.
Brobar... thanks for that information. I'm also in the military stationed at Scott AFB now. I will definitely start stretching my achilles on a more consistent basis. I'll check online for some good stretches but do you have any that you recommend? I'm glad you were able to move on from that injury.
This video doesn't talk about the achilles... it talks about plantar fasciitis but the first two exercises in this video is what was on the stretching sheet that the doctor gave me... I used a towel instead of a belt.
Hope that helps. It actually feels really good!
Armster, I took your advice and dropped the weight on all 5 sets, and it felt a lot better,
Thanks for the link Brobar. I've been having alot of pain and tenderness in the Achilles as well.. will be doing this stretch religiously.
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