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Calf Pain from Oly Squats


I recently started doing olympic style squats, instead of powerlifting squats where I sit back and use more back and hamstrings.

I think it might be from my knees moving further ahead than before, and that I may lack the ankle mobility for this. But anyways, my calves ache today - and I squatted on Thursday.

Anyone got experience with this kind of pain? Does it go away with time or?

When I try to stretch it doesn't seem to be "hitting" the same place as the pain. I feel pain more on the outside of the calf area.

Please let me know if you are having problems understanding my English as it is not my first language.



Yes I have experienced it and dealt with it. I had this trouble for months, sometimes it was light pain but others it was a major pain. It would happen regardless of the type of squat I did (front/back/overhead).

The big issue is: Glute activation (or something along those lines).

To deal with it I started doing Bulgarian Split Squats once a week. I tried doing lunges (even overhead lunges) but those didn’t fix anything.
I also do step ups and pistols, but Bulgarian Splits are what really did away with the calf pain.

Also, calf stretching did not help much. Isolation work did not work either.


I’ve also had calf pain from squatting. Regular foam rolling really seemed to clear up the pain. I usually hit my calves and just above and below my knees. Hamstrings and glutes are probably a good idea too.


If its muscle pain then yeah, it will go away soon. Your body will adapt tot he new method.

I would say that its likely that you are pressing through your toes more with a high squat as opposed to a low bar squat.

DOMS or muscle pain will go away really fast.



Yes…I’ve dealt with this also. I think it is pretty common for a lot of folks who switch over from PL style squats (even those who aren’t PL and are trying OL for first time). I still get these pains from time to time during heavy squat cycles in conjunction with my regular OL routine and I’ve been competing in OL for about 8 years. I usually just try to massage and stretch as much as possible. Good tip from Neo - I’ve never really tried Split Sq or any other movement with respect to treating this pain…never thought about the glute activiation part of it as I assumed it was from my less-than-ideal ankle flexibility.

Don’t worry…the severity of pain should get much better over time as you get more comfortable overall in the OL style.


I thought it was ankle flexibility at first, or something wrong with my muscle. Foam rolling helped slightly, but after one training session the pain would return. For a while it got really bad.

Then I noticed that as I stood up when squatting, even though I was NOT on my toes, my calf were doing an insane amount of effort. I started experiment with glute activation stuff, and Bulgarian Splits worked 100%, Step ups/Pistols worked 50%, Lunges worked 0%. The other stuff, like bridges and humping the air 'n shit 0%.


Thank you all for your replys.

Never really considered glute-activation to be the answer as the glute is probably my most developed muscle, but then again that’s from my previous style of squatting. I will definitely look into those bulgarians.

The pain does remind me of the pain I get/used to get from curling a straight bar with a supinated grip. I believe this issue is common so some of you might relate.

I tried some squats today and it seems to be absolute rock bottom that aggravates it, so my last resort is to stay away from this range of motion…

I might also add that I changed to this style of squatting to get more transfer to deadlifts, as there was very little quads engaged in my previous squat style - and way too much adductors.


I have had this happen. It happens almost every time I squat and even if I just crouch down for a while also. Its like a cramp or something. It hurts like a bitch most of the time. You will get use to it.