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hamstrings and cramped calves

For some reason whenever I try to do leg curls, my calves cramp almost immediately…anyone know why this happens or what to do about it? I’m already doing stiff-leg deads for my hams…maybe I should just chalk it up to experience and forget the leg curls altogether? Thanks guys.

You could try glute-ham raises instead of the curls.

Check out TC’s “8 hamstring exercises to make you cry momma”. Not only will it give you an abundance of ham. exercises to choose from, but a change in form may be the answer for those leg curls. Good luck!

thanks guys…the glute-ham raise looks like the way to go…and it looks like fun too. one question though…i injured a knee a few years back and am always pretty careful about straining it too much…these look like they might be hard on the knees. any experience to share?

GH raises will not give you the same training effect as leg curls, so they’re not a substitute (although they would be a good addition). If your calves are cramping, try bringing your toes as far as possible back towards your knees when performing the movement. Also, your diet may be to blame (not enough of a particular nutrient somewhere).

i second char-dawg…, check your diet, too. your potassium/calcium intake could be a factor (plus some other stuff i don’t know anything about). ask your doctor!

jdav, it’s me again from the knee thread :slight_smile: I’ve always found that the first signs of dehydration are cramps in my calves. This is especially a problem when using creatine, or using some diuretic training booster such as caffeine. Might also be something to do with lack of K or Mg, as someone already suggested.

my calves cramp just as much when i do glute ham raises. Try stretching them and ensure that you are hydrated and are not lacking any nutrients. Stretch them before and after leg curls as well as on other days.

Taking a step back here: Maybe you just need to adjust the pad?

As mentioned above, there are numerous potential causes for cramps. I just wanted to mention that the reason your calves are cramping during leg curls is that the gastrocnemius (as a two joint muscle), contributes not only to plantarflexion (primary function), but also to knee flexion. Try doing your leg curls with the feet plantarflexed (toes pointed downward) in order to make the gastroc actively insufficient.

Thank you Eric. You answered the question correctly. The Calf is a two joint muscle. Your sugguest was right on the money too. Best of Luck.

Thank you Eric. People need to remember that the calf is worked with leg curls, not just the hamstring. Stretch your calves.

thanks guys…i knew that the gastroc was involved in the curl, but i guess i didn’t realize the extent to which it was involved. i had thought it might be a dehydration thing, but then wondered why my calves would cramp while no other muscle in my body is prone to cramping. hadn’t considered diet though. working hams again on thursday, will stretch the calves out real good, suck down a ton of water and report back.

still gonna try those GH raises though, esp after some of the other threads on here about them…sound like fun, if you like that sort of thing :wink:

thanks guys