Why your calf muscles are tight & what to do about it
Bit of a long title, but does what it says on the tin..tight calf muscles, stretch them and they are just like your tight hamstrings, they always come back, why is that, could it be they are tight for a reason, tight because something else isn’t allowing them to “let go”?
This could possibly be inhibited glutes, which means your glutes may not be doing their job, but your calves are instead.
Get the bum working and the calves can release.
How you can do that?
Find a tender area on your calf and give is a massage with your fingers or with a tennis ball or foam roller.
About 30 – 60 seconds is just fine
Then strengthen the glutes by doing 5 reps of a glute bridge. Don’t hold your breath or clench the jaw.
The universe is an amazing thing. Well over a billion light years away. In less than a 10th of a second. 2 black holes – one was 29 times the mass of the sun, the other was 36 times the mass of the sun. Its ridiculous. Its an amazing time to be alive.
This is exactly how my other half, who has a degree in Cosmology, described this finding to me…as amazing as it is, I do think I glazed over at some point in the conversation and started to think about anatomy and how amazing our own bodies are …being made from star stuff, our own skin, organs, muscles, bones..such a complicated system we still don’t fully understand how our own brain functions or how to use them completely, some of us don’t even know we have a brain ..
We are a wonder
We are amazing
Yet we get stuck in judgements, thoughts of the past, hatred, killing, trying to make others follow the religion WE think is right.
Not eating enough Lemon Drizzle Cake!
Chocolate (90% Lindt for me please..thanks)
Wonders of the universe on your doorstep
Enjoy every second for you only get one go at it..allegedly!
Difference in hip heights is very common, you may well find you have one leg longer than the other.
Ive got that 🙂
I noticed it a few years ago, when I wore my workout trousers, one trouser leg was longer, actually touching the floor, the other was shorter…I tried to blame my trousers, maybe they were made like that, or had shrunk in the wash or something.
Nope…my pelvis had a little bit of a rotation.
If you were born with 1 leg shorter than the other, then its more of a hardware issue, rather than software, thats why I ask you if you have always had certain issues, like scoliosis for example. Were you born with it? Chances are, if you were, you will know about it, your medical records will show it.
With a hip height difference, one of your complaints maybe lower back pain on one side. However, we all have different pain receptors in the brain, and you may be just fine and not feel a thing.
Place your hands on your hip bones and feel to see which one feels higher.
Your ribs will be closer to your hips your Quadratus Lumborum(Lets call it the QL for short..its easier to type!) – that muscle in the pic on the left here, will be squished on one side, maybe a bit tender to touch.
I will do a simple QL test .
I don’t like using the words tight and weak, as muscles that are weak are not always weak, they can be strong, and we then have images in our brain what feels tight, and feel thats stronger, sending bad vibes to the weaker muscle.
Instead, I like the words organised and disorganised.
Organised are the muscles in the test that have more tone, feel stronger and tighter.
The opposite for disorganised.
Your QL has relationships with other muscles.its that naughty! 🙂
The opposite QL can be disorganised too, or the Psoas.
Looking for movement patterns, seeing how you move, what compensations your brain has been happy to use for a while.
After the simple tests, we can see a difference in the hip levels, and do some easy exercises to maintain the balance in the QL and Psoas muscles, if the tests showed that these muscles were having an dysfunctional relationship..The body is so amazing isn’t it, it will surely find another way around an issue , even if it leads to, eventual, pain and sore muscles. You are a little miracle!
So, once we find out whats going on, and we learn that by doing the tests, rather than just guessing and thinking what should be going on, you may find the back pain goes, your legs feel different, you have more strength in one leg which used to feel like the weaker one, it may change your breathing and if you had a tight shoulder, it may also fix that too, as fixing hip levels can change and reorganised a lot of other stuff happening up the spine.
Never ceases to amaze me, fox me, inspire me, interest me.
Theres a saying by a respected health and wellness coach that goes like this:
“You cant shoot a canon from a canoe”
What does that mean?
It means, that if you are going straight into lunges, burpees and squats and your core isn’t stable, you are going to get problems.
Basically, exercises classes aren’t structured to assess you before you do any of their classes. Overhead weight lifts, strength raining on clients who have basically sat all day at a computer are an accident and a shoulder impingement waiting to happen. Thoracic extension can be very difficult when the spine hasn’t moved very much all day. Shoulder mobility can be very tricky when your ams stay in the same position all day. Forward head posture is now commonly more than 3cm. Instability and lack of mobility in the upper thoracic therefore is common.
You just turn up, and get on with it.
I’ve been there, so don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing exercise classes, I used to teach Bootcamps on a Cornish beach. Ive attended bootcamp and circuit style classes. Ive seen bad form, and its painful to watch.
Trouble is, I saw people struggling with good form whilst they bashed out another 10 push ups after sprinting , doing squat jumps and lunges, seeing their anterior tilts not improve, seeing them getting up super early to go to a session when a lie in was what their adrenal glands were craving.
Shoulder, back and knee injuries are common…yes, even in well meaning Pilates classes.
I used to go to an osteopath for my tight neck muscles, (too much studying on a laptop!) who told me that they had many clients who came to them with lower back pain after going to Pilates classes, mainly in a gym with more than 10 people per sessions, sometimes up to 30 people in a class…they were at the point where they didn’t recommend Pilates to any clients!
You are NOT going to receive personal attention if you are going to a Pilates or Yoga session for rehab if your physic/dr/ospeo/chiro has told you that you should be doing one of these classes and it has lots of people attending.
If you are super lucky, your instructor may have received awesome training from a great training provider and taken more in depth courses in anatomy and physiology, neuroscience and muscular patterns.
If they have, stick with them, have some 1:1 sessions, and your training will come on in leaps and bounds
You will know your imbalances, you can work to correct them, you can work to enhance your inner strength.
Build your core strength and joint mobility before shooting that canon from the canoe.