If you’re dealing with tight calves, a better recovery routine may be just what you need. The cramping and pain that comes with tight calves can be eliminated and prevented when you use the right post-workout recovery methods. Keep reading to find out why active recovery is so important.
Causes of Tight Calves
One of the main causes of calf tightness is overuse. Strenuous exercise like running or walking puts stress on your calf muscles. When your body responds to this muscle damage, tightness and soreness often sets in. Tight calves are especially common for runners, but any activity that taxes your calf muscles can cause tightness.
When your calves are tight and can’t flex properly, it can put pressure on other areas, leading to foot, ankle, and knee issues. It’s worth taking the time to address your tight calves before they become a bigger problem. Plus, running or any activity really is more fun when you feel good and can perform at your best.
Active Recovery to Eliminate Tight Calves
Overworked muscles become tight and stiff when the right recovery methods aren’t utilized post-workout. Proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep are important components to ensuring an efficient recovery. Just as important is having an active recovery protocol, which athletes sometimes overlook.
Why is Active Recovery so Important?
The body’s natural recovery process is facilitated by muscle movement. However, the muscle movement should always be light and low-stress since the goal here isn’t to workout and breakdown muscles, but rather to repair and rebuild.
Active recovery involves light movement, such as walking or swimming. This type of movement kickstarts the recovery process by doing the following:
- Increasing blood flow
- Activating the lymphatic system to remove waste (a passive system that requires muscle contractions to work)
- Producing and releasing hormones/proteins for repair
- Optimally remodeling the repaired tissue so new fibers are arranged appropriately (and can then move and function as they should).
The best and most natural way to effectively speed the muscle recovery process is through active recovery.
Marc Pro is Active Recovery Perfected
While traditional active recovery methods like walking or swimming can help improve your recovery, these activities can also be very limiting. You can only do active recovery for so long before muscles start breaking down again, so it can be challenging to find the right balance.
When you’re tight, it can be hard to find the motivation to get back out there and do some active recovery. Additionally, some areas are hard to target. For example, if you want to recover your shoulders, swimming could be a good active recovery solution, but if you don’t have access to a pool then targeting your shoulders becomes more difficult.
Marc Pro delivers an easier and more effective solution to active recovery. The device uses patented technology that allows for non-fatiguing muscle activation, meaning you can use Marc Pro for as long as needed to get your desired results. It’s also easy to target specific areas like your calves, back, quads, etc.
Since Marc Pro creates non-fatiguing contractions, you never have to worry about muscles fatiguing or breaking down while using the device. Not to mention, it’s pretty great to be able to get in active recovery while you’re at work, traveling, or relaxing at home.
Using Marc Pro for Tight Calves
To eliminate tight calves using Marc Pro, take the gray lead wire and place one pad at the top of the gastrocnemius and the other on the arch of your foot. Do the same placement on your other leg using the black lead wire and pads. Turn up the intensity and make sure you’re getting a good contraction. If not, turn off the dial to the left and reposition the pads on your calf (being in a relaxed position will also help this). Relax for at least 20 minutes, but keep in mind that the longer you use the device the more benefit you will see.
Other Methods to Loosen & Prevent Calf Tightness
Beyond active recovery, stretching is a great way to loosen up calves. Make sure that you’re also staying hydrated and get the blood moving with a warm-up before starting more intense activity. Adding in calf specific strengthening exercises can also help prevent tight calves.
It’s common for tight calves to arise from weak muscles. Doing exercises like calf raises can help strengthen your muscles so they can last longer before they fatigue. It might also help to strengthen the muscles that surround your calves, like hamstrings and quads. When the surrounding muscles are weak, it can add extra stress on the calves.
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