T Nation

Between a Pulled and Torn Calf


I added hill sprints (short but steep) to my squat days. This was the third week of sprints. I finished squats, 1-legged DB squats, leg curls and hip sled machine. I was on sprint #4 (last week I did 22 in 15 minutes) and something bad happened in my calf. I was warmed up from the workout, but honestly I did not stretch the calves good before starting.

I don't think it is a complete tear -- as the shape of the calf is intact, but I suspect it is a partial tear. I cannot flex the calf at all without excruciating pain. I've never had this injury before. Damn -- hill sprinting days may be over. I had been doing some running on non-lifting days, so my calves should have been getting some work elsewhere.

I iced it last night and this morning with ibuprofen. I have some range of motion back in my foot that I did not have yesterday without pain (I can walk -- sort of).

I'll rest it this weekend and see how its doing Monday and decide if I need professional help. Right now, I don't think so.

Just venting -- very demoralizing to get injured. Makes me feel the years as all the coeds take over my gym with the start of school imminent. Last thing I want to do now is hobble around the gym trying to do an upper body workout. Damn.


Sorry to hear. That sucks.


I can totally relate. I had 3 calf 'pulls' in quick succession when I started hill sprints. It was during the winter so cold weather and not warming up enough could have been to blame.

They are pretty intense work for the calves mind you, especially if your hill is steep. Now I make sure I stretch and warm up REALLY well and do the first couple half speed. I haven't had a pull since, but I have learned to only go 90-95% effort. 100% effort is just too risky.

Don't get too demoralised they tend to mend really quickly, I went from going upstairs on my knees to pain free in a couple of days.

I don't think your hill sprinting days are over.


Sounds like level 1 strain. Ice and more ice.

a reccomendation is drop the leg curls out of your routine and add in stiff-legs or glute-ham raises instaed. Every person I talk to or read about is they leg curl -bam calf problem or light strains on the hamstring itself.


ice 20 minutes every hour for a full day. at the end of each 20 minutes, when you are at the height of the ice's pain killing, do a soft slow stretch of the calf, just to work the range of motion.

if you ice it, it will heal fast. I've done it a couple times myself, and icing makes the world of difference


The ice has helped. I have full range of motion back, and I can walk without a limp. I can walk up stairs, but not down. I'm surprised how fast it is coming back. Here's hoping I over reacted...