What does the look of your calves say about you?
Updated: Jul 15
The appearance of your calf muscles can tell you a lot about your function. From the recent Sports Chiro Australia Strength & Conditioning seminar, GWS Head of High Performance, David Joyce discussed how the calf muscle appearance can relate to function.
1. The propulsive calf
The world’s fastest runners don’t have big calves
Characterized by slender muscle bulk with long, stiff tendons
This calf muscle needs to act like a stable platform and contract isometrically/quasi isometrically, using the Achilles tendon to act like a spring.
2. The yielding calf
Needed to absorb, overcome and drive high forces
Seen in rugby front rowers & wrestlers
Maximal force development is critical, often respond to overload eccentrics & slow strength development
3. The aesthetic calf
Hypertrophy is often the aim with high reps, moderate-high load & high frequency
Look nice, but metabolically very inefficient
4. The hybrid calf
Often seen in those that play AFL, Soccer and Tennis
Seen in sports requiring speed, power & endurance