• Luke Nelson

What does the look of your calves say about you?


Different shapes, different functions

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.

The propulsive calf





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.







The yielding calf






2. The yielding calf

  • Big calves!

  • 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











The aesthetic calf






3. The aesthetic calf

  • Hypertrophy is often the aim with high reps, moderate-high load & high frequency

  • Look nice, but metabolically very inefficient









The hybrid calf






4. The hybrid calf

  • Often seen in those that play AFL, Soccer and Tennis

  • Seen in sports requiring speed, power & endurance














As you can see, the required demand on the calf will dictate how you train them, and not one strength program suits all demands!


For further assistance on individualizing programs for you, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@healthhp.com.au


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