T Nation

Calf Work and Cramping

So, I started doing some direct calf work recently.
Calf Press on the Horizontal Leg Press, 3 sets, 20 reps. I also hold for a five count in both the top and bottom positions.

Now I can’t get through a damn leg workout without my damn calves cramping so bad I have to stop.
They don’t feel sore at all prior, they just cramp out of nowhere, and yes I’m positive I’m properly hydrated. It’s really starting to bug me.

I’ve since dropped the calf work, but the problem persists.

So, suggestions?

Trigger points. Look into them. Unless you are experiencing cramping in other muscles groups when you are not training which could be diet/hydration related Im willing to bet you have some nasty trigger points in your calfs. I know I do. Get a massage therapist to work on them or try yourself if you are cheap (like me!)

You will be amazed at how good a lacrosse ball will make your legs feel. Afterwards, not during.

its just a thought, but would be holding at the top and bottom of the movement for 5 seconds on each rep be responsible for the cramping?

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
Trigger points. Look into them. Unless you are experiencing cramping in other muscles groups when you are not training which could be diet/hydration related Im willing to bet you have some nasty trigger points in your calfs. I know I do. Get a massage therapist to work on them or try yourself if you are cheap (like me!) [/quote]

This, especially near the insertion behind the knee.
And give more attention to the lower phase. I had a similar problem after an injury to my right hip. I can’t remember who recommended this, but I started doing 8x8x8, which is eight half reps in the bottom position, eight in the top, and then eight more in the bottom (that’s one set, I traditionally did about 5 sets three times a week). This way you’ve doubled the volume of work in the stretched position, providing an “active” stretch.
Focus on flexing your feet or “gripping” whatever your feet are pressing against for complete foot/calf activation. Stretching has been surprisingly effective for me as well. Push against a wall and slam that heel into the ground. Good luck.

Oh and don’t bounce.

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
Trigger points. Look into them. Unless you are experiencing cramping in other muscles groups when you are not training which could be diet/hydration related Im willing to bet you have some nasty trigger points in your calfs. I know I do. Get a massage therapist to work on them or try yourself if you are cheap (like me!) [/quote]
Thankyou!

Not to go off topic, but why were you skipping direct calf work before? Injury?

[quote]aspengc8 wrote:
Not to go off topic, but why were you skipping direct calf work before? Injury?[/quote]
Nah, I just didn’t really feel it necessary.
I sprint and jump every day so they get a lot of indirect work.
It’s kinda like abs and forearms ya know?