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Tight calf muscles: Why-How-Plan

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Do you have TIGHT CALVES???
Read this and you will know what to do from now on!
People always say to me “I got tight calves!”…
The Calf, as you may already know, is the area of the back of the lower part of the leg. The main big muscle is called Gastrocnemius.
 There are a few other muscles around Gastrocnemius too but this is the KING of the shin area!
So let’s respect it and give it some attention !
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(Credit to Spinemedboston.com)

So why do the calves get tight??

Through the Gastrocnemius travels the sciatic nerve which stems from the lower back and the lower spine.
I’m sure everyone heard of the sciatic nerve? Sciatica?
It’s the big nerve that travels at the back of the whole leg and through the calf before entering the foot.

Therefore, a tight Gastrocnemius can trap the sciatic nerve but on the other hand previous nerve problems can cause tightness on the Gastrocnemius too!

Previous nerve problems?
Any nerve so does the sciatic, is the switch for the muscles to work. Thus, when a nerve is injured, the muscle that gets its energy from that nerve, will stop working properly.
Consequently, some part of it will go to sleep ?
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(Credit to Gotosurvive.com)

As a result, the rest of the muscle tries harder and as we know from my previous blogs this means tightness!
 What if I never had sciatic problems but still my calves are very tight?
There is a slightly different story into this. Listen to this…..
Whenever you run your feet send signals to the rest of your body to do specific work so as to keep you running!
If you pick running late in your life chances are your technique (yes there is a technique you need to run with!) will not be ideal unless you have been shown how to do it…BUT…..
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(Credit to https://erinrunsaround.files.wordpress.com)

Even if your technique is great, there is something else “ruining” your calves and this will leave you speechless ???
Here you go, this is the answer for it:
Sitting down at work and then expecting to go for a run on the bounce really??? ?
You can’t do that no no no no please don’t!???

Why???

Because sitting down in front of a computer always makes you slouch, meaning your shoulders ALWAYS WILL drop forwards!

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(Credit to https://thumbs.dreamstime.com)

Indeed… your shoulders roll forwards meaning your back goes stiff.
Based on my previous blogs, stiff back means injury in the legs!?
So you finish work get in the car, the stiffness gets worse especially when you stuck in traffic! I know the feeling!!!
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(Credit to https://media.licdn.com)

 Do you know what the interesting thing is?
That you might not feel that stiffness! But it’s there trust me…
It’s passive , meaning you can’t feel it because you are used to it!

Guys it gets even worse !!!

You actually start running with a stiff back (remember…PASSIVE!).

 Quick touch on what muscles work when you run:
When you run, a big proportion of the movement comes from the shoulders, arms and back.
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(Credit to http://il3.picdn.net)

So, with them being stiff (as we explained above) then the legs will have to work harder, especially the CALVES!
Because they are the main running muscles anyway!!!
All done now, go and enjoy your run and make sure you do lots of mobility work for your back and arms before you start!!!
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(Credit to Uk.pintetest.com)

 

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