Why Do I Feel Hamstring Curls In My Calves? 10 Crucial Factors For Instant Improvement

L J Kudos
why do i feel hamstring curls in my calves

Why Do I Feel Hamstring Curls In My Calves? 10 Crucial Factors For Instant Improvement

Have you ever done hamstring curls and felt them more in your calves for some random reason? If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone as this is actually quite common and can have a few different causes.

Many people find this issue discouraging, especially because it often seems illogical. In some instances, it might even make you want to rethink your hamstring workout plans entirely.

In this post, we’ll explore why this happens and what you can do about it, so you can get back to working those hamstrings with no issues at all.

Why do I feel hamstring curls in my calves?

There are a few possible reasons why you might feel hamstring curls in your calves rather than your hamstrings because the two muscle groups are actually quite interconnected. If your toes are pointing inwards (aka duck footed) during the movement, this can put extra strain on your calves and cause them to work harder than they should. Another possibility is that you’re holding the position for too long and not moving through a full range of motion. This can cause cramping in both the hamstrings and calves. It’s also worth noting that not warming up properly before working out can contribute to this feeling as well. Ultimately, the best way to avoid feeling hamstring curls in your calves is to focus on form and make sure you’re engaging the right muscle group. If you find that you’re still struggling, you can try adjusting your positioning on the pad or using a lighter weight, as this is sometimes the main reason people feel the exercise in their calves, as going too heavy can force you to use other muscles to finish curl. It’s also important to improve your range of motion so you can get a full contraction in the hamstrings.

Hamstring anatomy

Before we go any further, let’s quickly review the anatomy of the hamstring. This will help you understand why the muscle group is interconnected with the calves and why certain movements can cause calf pain.

The hamstring is a group of three muscles that are located at the back of the thigh. These muscles are the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris.

All three of these muscles work together to extend the hip and flex the knee. The semitendinosus and semimembranosus, which are located on the inner part of the thigh, also help to medially (or inwardly) rotate the leg.

Meanwhile, the biceps femoris, which is located on the outer part of the thigh, helps to laterally (or outwardly) rotate the leg.

The hamstring muscles are connected to the bones in the leg via tendons. The semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles connect to the shinbone (tibia) via the pes anserinus tendon. The biceps femoris muscle, on the other hand, connects to the shinbone via the common peroneal tendon.

These muscles and tendons are all interconnected, which is why certain movements can cause pain in both the hamstrings and calves.

Duck footed

Having “duck feet” is often the root cause of calf pain from doing hamstring curls.

Being “duck footed” is a term used to describe when your toes point inwards when you’re standing or walking. This position puts extra strain on the muscles and tendons in your feet and lower legs, which can lead to pain in the calves, hamstrings, and even the knees.

If you find that you’re duck-footed, the best thing to do is correct your posture and try to keep your feet pointing straight ahead when you’re standing or walking.

You can also do stretches and exercises that target the muscles in your feet and lower legs to help relieve some of the tension.

When you’re doing hamstring curls, make sure that your feet are pointing straight ahead and not turning inwards. This will help you avoid putting extra strain on your calves.

Why do I feel hamstring curls in my calves?

Plantar flexion or Dorsiflexion?

The way your toes point while doing hamstring curls will affect how the exercise feels, similar to being duck-footed. 

There are two ways that your toes can point while doing hamstring curls: plantar flexion and dorsiflexion.

Plantar flexion is when your toes point downwards, away from your body. Dorsiflexion is when your toes point upwards, towards your body.

If your toes are in plantar flexion during hamstring curls, you’re more likely to feel the exercise in your hamstrings. If your toes are in dorsiflexion, you’re more likely to feel it in your calves.

To avoid feeling the exercise in your calves, make sure that your toes are in plantar flexion when you do the exercise. You can achieve this by keeping your feet pointing downwards as you curl.

If you find that your toes are naturally pointing in dorsiflexion, you can try using a resistance band to help keep them in plantar flexion or make a conscious decision to improve the mind-muscle connection with this exercise. 

Related: Why does the squat bar hurt my neck so much?

Holding the position too long

If you find that you are feeling hamstring curls in your calves, it is likely because you are holding the position for an extended period of time.

When you do hamstring curls, you want to move through a full range of motion. This means that you should curl your legs up as far as you can before slowly lowering them back down.

If you hold the position at the top of the curl for too long, it can cause cramping in both the hamstrings and calves because you’re not moving through a full range of motion and the weight is resting on your muscles.

To avoid this, make sure that you’re moving through a full range of motion and not holding the position at the top of the curl for more than a few seconds.

If you find that you’re cramping up, try doing smaller curls with higher reps to help loosen up the muscles.

Cramp

Contrary to popular belief, people generally feel hamstring curls in their calves because they’re cramping up.

Cramps can be caused by a number of things, including dehydration, not warming up properly, and holding the position for too long.

If you find that you’re cramping up, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water and that you’re warming up properly before working out.

Getting cramps can also be a sign that you’re not moving through a full range of motion. To avoid this, make sure that you’re curling your legs up as far as you can before slowly lowering them back down.

You can also try doing curls with no weights and higher reps to help loosen up the muscles.

Not warming up properly

Another common reason why people feel hamstring curls in their calves is that they’re not warming up properly.

Going straight into any exercise cold can cause cramping because your muscles are not prepared for the movement.

Warming up helps to loosen the muscles and prepare them for exercise. It also helps to avoid injury and gets the blood flowing to the muscles.

A proper warm-up should last for at least 5-10 minutes and include a mix of light cardio and dynamic stretching.

If you find that you’re still cramping up, try doing a longer warm-up or adding some static stretches to your routine.

A few exercises you can do to warm up are leg swings, high knees, and butt kickers.

Make sure that you’re doing a proper warm-up before working out to avoid feeling the exercise in your calves.

Stretching

As mentioned above, static or dynamic stretching before exercise can help to prepare the muscles for activity and prevent cramping.

Dynamic stretching involves moving your body through a range of motion. This helps to loosen up the muscles and get them ready for exercise.

Static stretching involves holding a stretch for a period of time. This helps to lengthen the muscles and improve flexibility.

A few static stretches you can do are hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and quad stretches.

Doing a mix of both dynamic and static stretching before working out can help to prepare the muscles and prevent cramping.

Why do I feel hamstring curls in my calves?

Are you dehydrated?

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of cramping.

When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough fluid to function properly. This can cause the muscles to cramp up.

Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day and especially before and after working out.

If you find that you’re still cramping up, try adding some electrolytes to your water. This can help to replace the minerals that are lost through sweat.

You can find electrolyte powders or tablets that you can add to water which will help to replenish the minerals in your body.

Drinking plenty of fluids and adding electrolytes can help to prevent cramping.

Too heavy

If you’re using too much weight, this can cause the exercise to be felt in your calves rather than your hamstrings.

When you’re using too much weight, your body isn’t able to move through a full range of motion. This can lead to cramping in both the hamstrings and calves.

When the weight is too heavy for you to lift competently, your body will recruit other muscles to help, which can lead to cramping and feeling the exercise more in the calves.

Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the amount as you get stronger. This will help you to find the right weight for you and avoid cramping.

If you find that you’re still cramping up, try doing the exercise with no weights by laying on the ground face down and lifting your legs up behind you.

If you are still having problems with cramping, it is best to consult a doctor or physical therapist to find the root of the problem. There could be an underlying condition causing the cramping, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) or nerve damage.

These conditions need to be treated by a medical professional and cannot be cured by stretching or exercise alone.

Change positioning on the pad

To stop feeling hamstring curls in your calves, try moving the padded cushion to different positions on your leg.

Doing this will help to take the tension off of your calves and place it more on your hamstrings.

If you find that you’re still feeling the movement in your calves, try moving the pad even further up your leg. You can also experiment with different heights to find what works best for you.

It’s important to note that everyone is different and will feel the exercise differently. There is no perfect way to do the exercise, so experiment with different positioning until you find what works best for you.

By moving the pad position and being aware of the direction your toes are pointing, you can help to ensure that the tension is placed more on your hamstrings rather than your calves.

Related: Why Do Some People Skip Leg Day?

Need to improve Range of motion

If you’re not moving through a full range of motion, this can cause your calves to work more than they need to because they’re not getting a full stretch.

When you’re doing the exercise, make sure that you’re moving your legs through a full range of motion. This means that your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and you should be lowering your legs all the way down to the starting position.

If you find that cramping is still an issue, do the exercise without any weights by lying face down on the ground and lifting your legs up behind you.

Doing the exercise with no weight will help to ensure that you’re moving through a full range of motion and getting a good stretch.

It’s important to note that everyone is different and will feel the exercise differently. There is no perfect way to do the exercise, so experiment with different positioning until you find what works best for you.

Range of motion is important in order to get a good stretch and avoid cramping.

Final thoughts…

If you’re feeling hamstring curls in your calves, there are a few possible reasons why.

It could be due to the position of your feet, the amount of weight you’re using, or because you’re not moving through a full range of motion.

By experimenting with different positions and weights, you can help to find what works best for you and avoid cramping.

If you’re still having problems feeling the exercise in your calves, consult a doctor or physical therapist to find the root of the problem. 

Did you experience this problem? Let me know in the comment section below.

If you enjoy sport and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Lee

Founder – Sport CBDs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Why Do I Feel Overhead Press In The Middle Of My Back? 12 Tips For Rapid Results

Why Do I Feel Overhead Press In The Middle Of My Back? 12 Tips For Rapid Results The overhead press […]