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Calves and Butterflies

You should hopefully know by now how much I enjoy answering questions. In fact it is my opinion that the breast way to bring out the best from a coach or training experience is to ask will thought out questions. Over the last couple of days I've had three separate conversations about the calf and calf training. Maybe it's from the post I shared the other day, maybe it's because they are traditionally, very hard to grow. First, pull up your sleeve so you can see your forearm. If we accept that the hand and forearm are analogous to the foot and calf (they are...) then watch your forearm as you wiggle your fingers. What happens? You see the forearm dance, right? Now flex and extend your wrist. See the forearm move? Right, so the forearm contains the main movers for the hand, just as the calf contains the main movers of the foot. Now I want to to visualise your foot as a tripod The three points of contact where this tripod rests on the ground are: The knuckle of the big toe (1st met) The knuckle of the pinky toe (5th met) The heel

The mets move in opposition to the heel in the majority of lifes motions. So when this happens, that is when the calf is best loaded. Remember, we're not designed to do gym, we're designed to walk, to run, to chase. And the muscles are optimally set up to make us the most efficient ambulator on the planet. So back to calf raises.. Lower, sink, soften the knees allowing them track inside the big toe. Feel the sole of the foot as well as the calf stretch and load up like a rubber band. Lift, push through the mets, the front two points of that tripod. Let the knees straighten, feel how the legs screw out as the foot arches driving an external rotation from the ground up. Pause for a moment at each end of the motion, at the top and the bottom. And move slowly. The burn is real. I would recommend between sets that you at least walk around, but better than that, bounce lightly on the balls of the feet. Imagine you're Muhammad Ali in his prime and bounce like he would, floating like a butterfly And that is where I stand on training the very things that allow us to stand. Regards Dave Hedges

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