As I sit here wondering what to right about, my right calf is very sore. Not a pull or anything serious but something more than a case of delayed onset muscle soreness. This brings to mind when I pulled a hamstring a couple years back. I was in the back yard playing with the kids and their cousins. I made a quick move to the left and pulled my hamstring. By the next morning the black and blue was huge. I had already started my fitness regimen and was pretty fit at this point. I could not believe that this had happened. When I was fat and still ran with the kids this didn’t seem to happen. What was happening was from the exercise and getting fit my legs had gotten much stronger and the quick movement, which apparently was a lot quicker with out the extra weight, was just too much on the hamstring. Well it took sometime to heal. I continued to workout and even was able to use the elliptical but only at certain inclines. I tell you this because it strikes me like the muscle imbalance in my shoulder maybe my quads were much stronger than my hamstrings and this may have caused the pull. Remember Brian mentioned a couple of weeks ago that using the treadmill did not work the hamstrings because the track was moving on it’s own and you were not propelling yourself forward you were more like just keep up with the track. Well at that time I was doing a lot of cardio on the treadmill. You see where I am going with this. I think that is what caused my pulled hamstring. Now back to elliptical. Remember, I said that I could use the elliptical when I had the pulled hamstring but not at a certain inclines. The machine I use has an indicator that shows what muscles are worked at what incline. There is an incline that really concentrates on the glutes and the quads. That was the setting I used during the healing process. Now when I use the machine I use it at a full incline and turn up the resistance. I get a good whole leg workout and a strong cardio hit at the same time. At the full incline you work the calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes. I no long use the treadmill and had stopped using it even before Brian’s post. It just seemed to me, that I got a good sweat flowing with the elliptical over the treadmill. Now I know why thanks to Brian’s post.
While all injuries cannot be prevented they are usually a result of poor flexibility and tight or cold muscles. If you start working out on a cold muscle, you are asking for injuries to happen and you will pull a muscle at some point. A good stretching program should be part of your daily routine. This done properly will warm the muscles and help prevent injury. When I help coach my kids sports teams I like to tell them, “If they do not feel the pull in the muscle and a little soreness or pain they are not doing it right.” At their ages I have to watch them to make sure they do it right because they do not get that there is a feeling in the muscle when you stretch that is a good pain to feel. Most of the time they are fooling around when they do these stretches. Hopefully you know how to stretch at this point an if not, I will post about certain stretches for you to follow in the future.
Have a great workout!
Stretching can even promote muscle growth. A fascia membrane that is very tight surrounds the muscle. You may notice when you workout the muscle get very tight and at some point may even feel like you can barely continue the movement. This is because the muscle has swelled within that membrane. If you stretch the fascia it will allow more blood to flow into the muscle allowing the muscle to grow more.