Question 1: Looking at the picture, would you doubt the power these calves can generate? Isn’t this why we should be doing calf exercises?
Question 2: But do you often see this type of anatomy? Why not?
Let’s explore the difference between training like a bodybuilder versus training like a sportsman. The key difference lies in the subtle nuances of movement. When I think of training the calves, I also consider training the toes, flexor muscles of both the foot and leg (including the tibialis anterior), and the ankle.
Take a look at this video again and pay attention to the toes, foot and knee flexion, the soleus swinging into action, and finally, the gastrocnemius contracting.
As a sportsman, one should approach exercises from a compound movement perspective in a season. In real-time sports, where maximum burning of the calves is required, one would expect the toes, ankle, and anterior leg muscles to swing into action as rapidly as the calves. This cannot happen if we train our muscles in isolation.
Lastly, movement biomechanics are deeply integrated with our structure. If we respect our structure and train it well, it becomes easier to work on movement biomechanics. However, if we train solely for heavy lifting and strength, we may inadvertently compromise on power. It is crucial to understand the pull and the musculature involved in it. #circuitry pathway
Here’s an example of Mr. Bolt to help you understand the work of calves – as can be seen that his take off relies equally on on the lower leg structure and mechanics as his quads/hamstrings or gluteal musculature.