Pulled calf muscle

Posted by: choonbee

Pulled calf muscle - 04/04/11 09:33 PM

I keep pulling my right calf muscle every time we have a class that features a lot of kicks.
I stretch my calf muscles twice a day, and it's always the right calf that gets pulled, never the left.
(my right side is my dominant side).
Anybody have any advice or suggestions on this?
Posted by: Kimo2007

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 04/04/11 11:42 PM

Well, you are treating the injury but not the cause. There is something in your movement or perhaps in your body (hips, back etc) that is not aligned or being loaded correctly causing you to injure yourself.

If you play other sports where you kick with your dominate foot a lot. You probably developed stability on your left leg, more so that your right. Now that you are kicking with the left and using the right for stability, it might not be up for the task...just a thought.

No way to know over the net but a good sports therapist could evaluate you out in a few minutes and likely figure it out.

The danger of self diagnosis or asking just anyone is if you compensate, good chance you make it worse and add a new nagging injury...just not worth it.
Posted by: choonbee

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 04/05/11 05:04 AM

That's a good point, kimo.
I played a lot of soccer in my younger days, and usually used my right foot for any serious kicks, and I have been trying harder on my kicks from my left foot because I know that it is my weak side.
Of course, it's hard to tell if that's the problem, and a professional opinion is the best way to go, as you've said, but it's definitely something to consider.
I'll have to check and see if there are any sports therapists in my area who can evaluate me.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my post.
Posted by: choonbee

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 04/16/11 04:49 PM

Looks like you were right, Kimo.
I felt it in class today. I did a front kick with my left foot during drills, and felt a twinge in my right calf.
Posted by: gojuman59

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 04/19/11 12:06 PM

I'm not trying to be simplistic about this, but I have found that being hydrated properly and bananas have helped me avert the strained calve muscles I used to be plagued with about a year ago. The potassium from the bananas has helped me alot. This is just as well as my friends think I'm a silly monkey any way.

keep on keeping on, Mark
Posted by: choonbee

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 04/19/11 04:57 PM

Thanks for the advice, Mark.
I usually drink a low carb protien shake with a bananna blended in there before I go to class, mostly because I don't have time to eat in the time between getting off from work and going to class.
Posted by: Kimo2007

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 04/20/11 06:34 PM

I would second what Mark said about being hydrated and the benefits of potassium.

But I still think the issue you are having could be a mechanical one. The danger is the new things you are doing (supporting on your right leg) may continue to cause injury, not get stronger with time. In other words, if you have weakness in one area, so you are taxing another to compensate, then you are not training the weakness to get stronger, so the issue actually gets worse. Maybe you are over using the knee or the calf to make up for a weakness in say the hip.

I guess the rule is if you get hurt, then heal and it's fine you are probably OK. But if you get hurt, heal and then get the same injury again when you return to that activity, that is a cycle and you should get it checked out.
Posted by: choonbee

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 05/28/11 07:05 AM

It seems to have worked itself out in the past month.
When I started this thread, I was doing my kicks with an emphasis on trying to kick as hard as I can.
Since I've been more focused on the proper form, and not concerned with how hard my kicks are hitting the bag, my calf has been fine.
The best part is that my power is starting to increase while using proper form.
I've been concentrating on stretching my hip flexors a lot in the past 6 weeks, and my kicks have been much better as a result.
Posted by: gojuman59

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 05/28/11 09:15 AM

Isn't it cool how getting the form of the technique correct makes the power of that technique increase. I constantly find that by focusing on certain techniques I can cut out the extra slop in the movement and increase power. An example of this was the simple chudan-tsuke. I dont know how I got off track in my punching, but I did. My elbow was flying out every once in awhile. Once corrected I saw huge gains in speed and power.
It just goes to show you that less is better. Simplify and things work out.

keep training, Mark
Posted by: choonbee

Re: Pulled calf muscle - 05/28/11 06:23 PM

It is definitely cool, Mark. That extra slop in the movement results in a lot of wasted energy over time in addition to increasing the chance of an injury.
I guess I had to get the novelty of hitting hard out of my system in order to concentrate on doing it right. It was humbling at first because I was hitting like a 10 year old, but now it's starting to pay off.
Doing it right allows more power to be transferred to the target while using less energy. What's not to like about that?
The old instructor at our school that I was telling you about earlier freaks when he sees someones elbow flying out on a punch.
We have a guy who boxed for a few years before he started martial arts, and his elbows were always out when he punched.
He corrected him a few times, then when the student still had his elbows out he made the dude go off by himself and practice punching for the rest of the class, with one of the black belts watching him.
The student wasn't too happy about it, but his elbows stay tight to his body now when he punches.