Calf Muscles

I once dated a girl who had a thing for my calf muscles. Seriously. Calf muscles.

She may have been on to something.

Did you know that the energy cost of calf muscle contraction in highly trained runners is nearly 25% of the total metabolic cost of running? In recreational runners, it’s 40%. That’s a lot of energy being used by your calf muscles.

Why do your calf muscles use so much energy?

Well, think about what they have to do. They have to plantarflex your foot so that you apply force to the ground and propel you forward with each step.

If you can decrease the amount of energy your calf muscles use to propel you forward with each step, the more economical you will be and the faster you’ll be able to run.

How do you decrease the amount of energy required to contract your calves?

Enlist your Achilles tendon.

Through technique and training, you can maximize the spring that is your Achilles tendon to help with forward propulsion so that your calf muscles don’t have to work so hard.

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