Author Topic: calf training  (Read 2556 times)

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LBSS

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calf training
« on: November 14, 2012, 10:45:23 am »
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Sup brosephs. I have a question about my calves specifically and p-chain more generally. It may just be Raptor getting to me, but I think that calf and hamstring strength are limiting my jumps. (And to a lesser extent, glutes...I'm quad dominant but that's a story for another day.) Hamstrings I can address with reverse hypers, RDLs/good mornings, etc. But calves are a tougher deal for me because of my toe issues.

Basically, my arthritis prevents me from fully supporting my weight across the ball of my foot with my foot plantar flexed. I have to either shift weight to the outside of the foot (which, when it doesn't work and I have to correct balance by shifting weight to one or the other big toe, hurts like crazy and limits me for the rest of the workout) or stand on a board or something so that I can plantar flex without extending my toes. Either way, balance is an issue. That makes calf raises pretty challenging even just at BW, but especially with any kind of loading.

Any thoughts about how to address that?
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

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entropy

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Re: calf training
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 10:50:35 am »
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Sup brosephs. I have a question about my calves specifically and p-chain more generally. It may just be Raptor getting to me, but I think that calf and hamstring strength are limiting my jumps.

lol this was clear without needing to say, raptor has that effect on everyone! :P i think he's just looking for a partner to do donkey raises with. tread with caution.

but good question, i'm interested in beefing up my stick legs too.
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Raptor

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Re: calf training
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 11:05:57 am »
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It's weird because from what I can remember, you're a pretty fast jumper off two feet. You'd expect a guy who has disfunctional calves to have a longer amortization phase... but obviously it's also a matter of structure.

You need to ask yourself "how good am I at rhytmic jumps vs paused jumps"?

For example, how good are you at consecutive two-leg bounds vs. broad jumps with a pause in between reps? How good at consecutive hurdle jumps vs. hurdle jumps with a pause? Usually the best you perform at rebound jumps (including depth jumps) - the more your calves are being utilized properly.

LBSS

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Re: calf training
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 04:15:24 pm »
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neither of you is adarq or lance, but thanks for the responses.

@entropy: it's not that my calves are small. my legs in general are pretty big.

@raptor: fair point. i might just be making shit up. i do think i go farther with four consecutive paused broad jumps than with four DL bounds. will retest tomorrow when i'm back in the gym.

i guess i'm just trying to figure out what it is really that's holding me back (down). i haven't had serious progress of any kind in months. part of that is travel and illness, but part of it has got to be specific weaknesses that i'm not working on well enough or hard enough.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

- Avishek

handstand + backflip + flag

LanceSTS

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Re: calf training
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 06:18:04 pm »
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Sup brosephs. I have a question about my calves specifically and p-chain more generally. It may just be Raptor getting to me, but I think that calf and hamstring strength are limiting my jumps. (And to a lesser extent, glutes...I'm quad dominant but that's a story for another day.) Hamstrings I can address with reverse hypers, RDLs/good mornings, etc. But calves are a tougher deal for me because of my toe issues.

Basically, my arthritis prevents me from fully supporting my weight across the ball of my foot with my foot plantar flexed. I have to either shift weight to the outside of the foot (which, when it doesn't work and I have to correct balance by shifting weight to one or the other big toe, hurts like crazy and limits me for the rest of the workout) or stand on a board or something so that I can plantar flex without extending my toes. Either way, balance is an issue. That makes calf raises pretty challenging even just at BW, but especially with any kind of loading.

Any thoughts about how to address that?

 A couple of things you can do, one is to move the foot plate further towards the rear of your foot, where its not so uncomfortable.  You will have a shorter lever arm that way, though you can still work the calves from that position.

 The other thing is isos in the stretch position.  be careful here and dont go lower than youre comfort level allows, but lowering to the end r.o.m. and holding a load in that position is pretty effective in improving lower leg strength.  You can actively pull down using the tibialis anterior for more tension, and let up when close to failure.  This is something I have used with athletes who had spurs or turf toe, and works well since the low end range of motion is not nearly as painful as the top end.

 Once you address the strength issue of the lower leg, you want to train it explosively with things like jump rope, low hurdles, ankle hops, etc. Really focus on dorsi to plantar flexion here, its very possible to do lots of these without much lower leg contribution, which defeats your purpose in doing them.  Get a good volume of these type drills, then progress into more intensive work. 
Relax.

LBSS

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Re: calf training
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 08:41:37 pm »
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thanks lance. i'm not sure i get what you mean by moving the plate further toward the rear of my foot. i'm totally comfortable in dorsiflexion, so i can hang down off the edge of a plate from the ball of my foot, no problem. the issue is when i'm up on my toes.

interesting thought about iso's, i'll give that a try.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

- Avishek

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LanceSTS

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Re: calf training
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 09:50:03 pm »
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 I mean instead of putting the load on the ball of the foot, place your feet so that its focused more towards the mid foot. 
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Raptor

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Re: calf training
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 07:24:45 am »
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Also a lot of people do bouncing calf raises which in reality utilize a ton of Achilles and very little muscle in itself so... do them slow and do them with pauses at the top & bottom IMO

LBSS

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Re: calf training
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 08:08:41 am »
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I mean instead of putting the load on the ball of the foot, place your feet so that its focused more towards the mid foot.

oh so basically less ROM at the top (plantar flexed) end. thanks.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

- Avishek

handstand + backflip + flag