🔥Train Your Calfs and Gain Ankle Mobility
📍How to grow the calf muscle has to be the most frequent question I get; it’s popular discussion question among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. We hear genetics a lot and that is a part of it if you have small muscle belies on your calf muscle it will be harder to hypertrophy them. But that does not mean you can’t train them to the fullest potential.
📍The calf (for whatever reason it’s known as that?) is made if 2 muscles the gastroc and the soleus. They’re connected through the Achilles tendon which transfers the energy from them to the foot. The gastroc is superficial to the soleus and is more of a power muscle (more than the soleus), the soleus is deep to the gastroc and is a endurance muscle used in posture and endurance running etc. If you remember from a earlier post talking about different muscle fibers; the soleus is made of type 1 slow twitch fibers which are meant for high repletion’s and does not hypertrophy well, the gastroc has more type 2 and will be the one that grows more. These facts will dictate how we train them.
📌Due to biomechanics we can emphasize each muscle during different types of workouts. When performing any seated (knee flexed) calf workout you’ll be targeting the soleus more, when standing the gastroc will be target more. What we can take away from this and the muscle types is. When performing seated exercises since we’re targeting the soleus perform lower weight with higher repletion’s (18-20), when doing standing (extended leg) we want to go heavier and lower reps (8-12). This style of training will ensure the best results when it comes to calf training.
📍👣Ankle mobility is crucial for performing various exercises and the main factor that hinders ankle mobility are tight calf muscles they attach to the Achilles tendon and when they can no longer stretch the ankle stops moving (or shins over the ankle). Stretching the calf muscle is crucial post exercise. Even when performing exercise you may hold the movement when your calf is stretched. There many calf stretches out there and are very simple. You’d be surprised by how tight calfs are due to our habits.