Bulletproofing Runners: 2 calf exercises every runner must do


At Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy and Sports Medicinetherapy and Sports Medicine we are known as a clinic who are very competent treating runners. Therefore I want to share with you two clinical pearls to help you with your running.

When treating runners I have been told so many times during a consultation, “I have to tell you something about that program you gave me, those simple exercises worked really well”. So I thought I would share with you two bullet-proofing calf exercises that we give our recreational to elite runners. Why? Because if you identify as a runner, we want you to stay injury free

So know this:

1. The calf muscle complex is used the most when you run. Yes, this muscle group puts the power generated from your hip into the ground, and ultimately propels you forward.

2. It has to deal with 4-6 times your body weight on each landing and power generation (so it would make perfect sense that you ensure it is strong enough to act and function the way it is intended)

3. Gym exercise is for everyone, not just for the elite! Forget elite and forget the complex regimes, as our runners will tell you “we do the basics, we do them really well, and by doing the same you will be surprised how far they take you”

So what are the two exercises we prescribe at Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy and Sports Medicinetherapy and Sports Medicine that you can implement into your training program to help build your calf complex strength and capacity?

Tips on implementing strength training exercises into your weekly program:

1. Ensure strength training is part of your program, not once a week, but twice a week at a minimum.

2. Make sure that your weight training is specifically designed for your running and running needs

3.Ensure you understand and meet the required weight and strength targets based on your physical characteristics

4. If you struggle to do single leg calf raises and suffer frequent niggles in the foot/calf area, it's likely that a higher emphasis on calf strength in your training would benefit your performance and injury prevention, rather than the common misconception that “progression of running mileage will fix the problem”

At Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine our physiotherapists Todd Anderson and Nicholas Cross have extensive history working with runners from around the world. Our physiotherapists are known to take great enjoyment sharing their knowledge and establishing a plan specifically for your goals so you can run to the best of your ability and most of all pain-free.

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