How many can you do?

Yes, you can have six pack abs and big bulging biceps but when was the last time you ever wanted thick diamond-shaped calves?

Too frequently when we chat to patients about gym training or exercises that they regularly perform, legs are often neglected in their routines. Muscular calves aren’t just only for the looks they provide, strengthening your calves can have a positive impact on a number of areas including ankle strength and stability, running and sprinting performance and injury prevention. Strong calves can also assist to stabilise your body during lifts such as squats and deadlifts as well as during almost every sport.

How strong are your calves? A test we use within our clinic is the single leg heel raise. We pride ourselves with keeping up to date with everything sports medicine and the “magic number” that we need our athletes to be achieving is AT LEAST 30 REPETITIONS in one go! And that’s with the correct technique – no cheating! Do you pass the test??? Give it a go!

Stand next to a wall or table and stand on one foot. Gently touching the wall with one finger to steady yourself, raise up onto your toes and down again at a speed of 2 seconds per repetition. Ensure your heel only skims the floor before rising again. You do not want to transfer your weight back down onto your heel or floor. Count how many repetitions you are able to achieve while maintaining full range of motion and speed. Repeat the test on the other leg and see if you are able to achieve at least 30 repetitions and if there is a difference between sides.

If you’re lacking in calf strength, then this needs to be added into your routine, especially now during your pre-season campaign leading up to your first trial game. Adequate calf strength can reduce your risk of sustaining lower limb injuries. Continuing to run without the right strength significantly increases your injury risk.

Check out this awesome video below by showing correct vs. incorrect technique when performing the single leg heel raise as well as research into age and gender specific normal values.

If you aren’t achieving these numbers or have any questions about your calves and want to pop into the clinic, call 9873 2770 or book online today