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Tight Calves?

9 February 2021
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💥Have you had overly tight calves for a long time? Hip extension may have something to do with this.

🏃🏻 Your hip and ankle are key components in your gait/running cycle. Normal range of motion is 10 degrees for hip extension and 40 degrees for ankle dorsiflexion.

💥If you are restricted in these movements then there may be long term effects of your running performance and you could incur injuries or overly tight muscles along the way.

💪🏽There are 2 main muscles in your calf. The Gastrocnemius and the Soleus. The main firing of these muscles is when your heel lifts. The gluteus maximus at the back of your hip stops firing just before your calf muscles, this acts as a one two punch that propels you forwards.

💥Normally ankle dorsiflexion should be equal to hip extension. So if your ankle is restricted in movement, then you will not be able to access your full hip extension and therefore affect performance and increase your susceptibility to injury. This is termed the Z angle.

✍🏻 It has been shown if you can not get into full hip extension then your calf has to fire early to still help you move forward while running. So, your calf is being loaded for a greater amount of time so runners can be symptomatic of calf pain for days after a run because of this.

💥Also, if you can’t get into full hip extension, when the calf contracts it will drive your weight upwards creating a vertical phenomenon, meaning your calves have to work harder.


How can we help at the Lawlor Clinic?


During an assessment we can see if your hips ankles or other parts of the body aren’t moving properly or to see if you are compensating in other areas.


Once we have found the problem areas , we can mobilise and manipulate them. This should increase the range of motion in the area.


Then we will give exercises in the clinic and for you to do at home that will help get the muscles surrounding the joint to work well functionally while you move.

👌This will mean you can get into the previously not possible range of motion and keep it there so you will be out of pain for longer and performing better.

If you would like to book in for an assessment then contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.

Yours in Health

Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois



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