Don't Be A Member Of The No-Calves Squad! Here's Why Calf Training Is Very Important
Most dudes don’t ever train their legs because it’s very demanding and brutal. If you hit your legs hard, the DOMS will not leave you for days. But that feeling is great! One of the most undertrained leg muscles are the calves. Why? Because dumb dudes think that it doesn’t add to their physical appearance. If you also think that this silly myth is true, then you should definitely read this.
What The Calves Do
The calf muscles play an important role in pumping blood through venous circulation and are therefore known as the peripheral heart. When we contract our calf muscles, the veins inside force the blood to flow upwards towards the heart. When the blood flows from the calf muscles to the heart, it has to travel against gravity, therefore, contraction of the calf muscles builds up an external pressure. There are two superficial muscles in the calf area- gastrocnemius and soleus.
Training your calf muscles will not just give your legs a more proportionate look but it also offers following benefits
Shield Against Calf Sprains – According to a survey conducted by Runner’s World in 2011, calf sprains were the second most common injury amongst injured runners. When you do not train you calf muscles regularly, it loses the strength and conditioning that it needs to have to support your athletic activities and there are possible chances of injury. Generally, when either of the two calf muscles (gastrocnemius or soleus) stretches too far and separates from its insertion at the Achilles tendon, a sprain occurs. This could result in a severe tear also which may take months to heal. Therefore, it is better to give them flexibility and strength by training them regularly.
Irregular Blood Flow
If you constantly wear shoes that have large heels, the calf muscles get tighter while trying to constrict the range of movement at the ankle. In a situation like this, the calf muscle pump weakens, which leads to an irregular blood pumping motion. To avoid this, stretch your calf muscles regularly after your workouts, apart from training them once in a week.
Power And Stabilization
While we run, walk or jump, it is our calf muscles, particularly the gastrocnemius that generates power in these activities. In sports such as basketball and volleyball, strengthened calf muscles can prove to be advantageous to the player. Also, calf muscles are the foundation for stability in our bodies while we stand, run or dance. To prevent any injury from accidently turning your foot inwards or outwards, you need to strenghten your calf muscles.
How To Strengthen Your Calf Muscles
From seated calf raises, standing calf raises and other dedicated machines, you can also make use of the Smith machine to work out your calf muscles. Just put the barbell on your Trapezius muscle while standing on an elevated surface, kept beneath your foot, so that you can do and up and down movement using your calf muscles. The same movement can also be performed on the leg press machine by keeping half of your foot beyond the sled.
Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer , Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of thewebsite where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him throughFacebook andYoutube.
Note- The article just lays down the properties of sprouts. For successful fat loss or muscle, you will need to align your calorie intake with your goal. Sprouts are one of the healthiest food items out there.
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