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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to restore sore calves after running: 2 simple drills

The person in the red is in the prone mountain position...begin here after reading:)
Got sore calves? Easy fix:) no worries man:)
SO FIRST OFF, HOW DO YOU GET SORE CALVES? This is the first thing you need to pay attention too:) haha...sore calves happens most often from any or all of the following reasons:
  1. running or jumping rope too much on the toes instead of the front half of your foot....this is super common for new folks into running barefoot or in minimal shoes....DOING THIS IS A BIG REASON WE TEACH PROPER PROGRESSIONS AT THE MBG:)
  2. running too far (before your actually ready to run that far)
  3. doing hill sprints, runs, walks for too much incline or too much work - again your calves will tell you while it's happening but here it's smartest to start slow...with low volume/reps and slow speed....let your body and feet adapt!
  4. resisted sprints with a partner or sled with too much resistance or for too long...same as #3.
  5. jumping rope for too long before ready to do so...this again is the same as 3 and 4. 
So what's the common theme here? Let your feet and body adapt to the compressive forces of running or jumping rope. If you're overweight, older, coming back from a leg or back injury then start slow. THINK starting and driving a car in the north in the winter....start it, warm it up, drive slow at first, then you can add some speed. Apply the same rules to re-introducing yourself to a dynamic program of running or jumping rope.

I began going barefoot in 1997 after meeting Roger Eischens. I jumped in 100% like most folks and learned the hard way on what not to do:)...as i did all of the above and had to learn how to heal all myself with Eischens Yoga and simple sense:) Now since the 'barefoot' craze began a few years ago the same exact problems have arisen again....SO here are some of my simple lessons/ways to get the calves, feet, body to feeling better:)
  1. Take notice of what you're doing, make a progressive plan of action starting slow and building every week upon the last! How we train at the MBG!
    1. Adapt your body/feet to the action you're doing...again how we start you in training!
    2. Progress slowly and smartly:)
    3. Pay attention to how your body is feeling and keep checking in
  2. Do as much Eischens Yoga standing poses as possible to strengthen your feet and legs. Especially getting partner feedback (only done thru EIschens Yoga and at MBG's)  if you can get it to increase foot strength and stability 50% faster than on your own. DAILY!!!
    1. Stuff will come up in the form of tweaks and aches here and there...that is when the EY can be so powerful and getting you back faster than anything. So as above pay attention, then do some EY poses that make you feel better quickly!
  3. How will you know if your running or jumping rope too much (before your actually ready to run or jump rope)? You'll get a fax from your feet saying to please stop now:) haha Literally they'll tell you! So stop and walk home to run or jump another day:)
  4. SAME RULES APPLY TO HILLS, STAIRS, PARTNER SPRINTS but even more so, now you're adding even more flexion to the ankles and thus more stress to the feet, arches, ankles, shins, knees, hips and back. It's imperative you start smart here and progress slowly. Straining the achilles or calves is nothing to mess with my friends...so adapt, progress slowly and pay what? PAY ATTENTION to the body sending you a fax, text, e-mail or whatever telling you to chill out!!!
  5. NOW FOR THE PHYSICAL FIXES:
    1. Do supine mountain poses (as we show you in MBG classes and our Eischens Yoga dvd), but this time really put a big focus on pulling the toes up towards the shins. Keep the calves off the floor, lighten the hips off the floor and if you have a partner to pull down lightly on your toes you've got it! IF POSSIBLE USE ONLY MBG TRAINERS HERE AS IT TAKES SOME TIME UNDER EISCHENS YOGA TENSION TO 'SEE' HOW TO DO THIS PROPERLY.
    2. Literally put your feet up on the wall and let your legs take a break! We do this rest pose at the end of each EY class or a hard leg workout and it feels great.
    3. Go for some walks...it's simple, it's free and it will loosen up the calves alot. While walking begin to pay attention as well to foot placement against the ground as well. Here the barefoot is fine, in the sand great, minimal shoes great, oversized shoes great! All of the above work to let the feet spread, to open and get the blood flowing again which is exactly what you want to do to get the legs feeling alive again.
So next time you or a friend over does it on a run, sprint, hill, stairs, jump rope workout or anything:) Try these out and feel better!!
Hope this helps you out my friends!
Peace,
Jon

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