1. Shock absorption
The calf helps with shock absorption on landing, running and jumping – pretty much everything we do in netball.
2. Improve performance
The calf plays an important role in forward and vertical propulsion with running and jumping, so strengthening the calf will improve your power and performance. In short, it helps us jump higher and take off faster.
3. Injury prevention
Calf strengthening helps to prevent achilles tendon issues and calf muscle tears caused by fatigue and lack of strength/endurance. Work those calves to reduce your chances of injury.
4. Assist in rehabilitation
Calf strengthening is an important component of injury rehabilitation for a number of common netball injuries such as achilles tendon issues, calf muscle tears, and ankle sprains.
5. Offload injured areas
Most of the times when we talk about muscles, we talk about them in isolation. The calf muscle, the quad, biceps, etc., but in reality all the muscles are hooked up together, especially the muscles in the back. If you suffer from knee, hip or lower back injury, increasing your calf strength may help you to offload these injured areas.
What should I do?
Now that you understand the importance of calf strengthening, here are some simple exercises to get you started. The calf raise exercises introduced below involve the basic up-down movement by lifting your heels up and standing on the balls of your feet – simple enough!
Too easy? Progress to the following:
Note that in addition to calf strengthening, it is also important to maintain the flexibility of your calves by stretching regularly in order to avoid injuries – especially those of you who love killer heels 👠
That’s all folks! Let us know if you have any questions on the above (and thanks for demonstrating the exercises Melissa Teo! 😇).