High Calf And Low Calf

high calf low

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

I think you noticed that there are big differences in the shape of the calves. These morphological variations are due to the evolutionary adaptations to the climate that occurred during the first human migrations.

It’s common to see African blacks peoples with proportionally long legs with a sagging plantar arch of the foot (flat foot) and a long calcaneus. This bone conformation of the leg and foot provides excellent leverage in the ankle and minimal triceps surae muscle (calf muscle is short, thin and high with a long tendon) for powerful extension of feet to walk.

It’s common the see Nordic people with short legs with a pronounced plantar arch of the foot and a short calcaneus. This bone conformation of the leg and foot requires a massive and uneconomic triceps surae muscle who get down very low to do an extension of feet to walk.

high calf low anatomy

This type of massive and long calf is actually an adaptation to cold climates to keep body heat. This prevents legs from cooling too much during the freezing cold to prevent amputation of the legs. These massive and long calves are seen as aesthetic (bodybuilding competition) but they’re less suitable for running and more vulnerable to muscle tears.

Massive and long calves requires more and careful warm-up and it’s important to do stretching exercises before and after an intensive workout of calves.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Standing Calf Raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with the front of your feet on a step. Put your hand on a wall or a support to have more stability :

  • Slowly flex your feet to stretch your calves.

  • Extend your feet with your knees extended or slightly bent.

It’s a movement to be done slowly and with high reps until the burning sensation.

This exercise has an action of stretching and muscle contraction. It’s for this reason that this exercice can be used as a warm up before a calf exercise with heavyweights, to avoid injuries, or at the end of the session to feel the pump.

This exercise works triceps surae composed of 2 gastrocnemus and soleus and also flexor hallucis longus, tibialis posterior and flexor digitorum longus.

Note

This movement is excellent for stretching the muscles of the plantar surface of the feet like flexor digitorum brevis and quadratus plantae and soften plantar faschiitis.

Share this article if you think if can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph