It’s great that human fascination with how things work has lead to the technological advances that we have today – and the invention of the internet means that if we don’t know, we can quickly find out.
The question “why?” has to be the single most influential, yet irritating question ever invented!
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have driven their parents crazy with it when I was a child!
I did hear the act of asking “why” too often, called “whyorrea” the other day (which made me chuckle), and it’s this constant digging deeper into a subject that gives is the detail we have today on a wide variety of subjects.
Like anatomy, for example.
This is a typical image of the calf in the anatomy textbooks (this one is taken from Thieme’s Atlas of Anatomy)
The trouble is, it’s very complicated – it’s TOO detailed.
Yes, all of those muscles, tendons and ligaments are actually there, but do we really need to know all that?
Knowing all those things exist, ISN’T the same as knowing what they’re DOING when we move around – and it’s a bit more difficult to observe those things in living people since nobody would volunteer to have their skin removed!
Because direct observation of these muscles isn’t feasible, perhaps the next best thing is to to observe BEHAVIOUR.
All animals exhibit behaviours when they are struggling with something.
Just last night, a new electrical device in the house (a smart energy meter) was beeping and it scared our dog. She moved from her bed and curled up at our feet. This different behaviour than when she needs to go out or if she wants to play.
And bodies are no different – they REACT to the situation they’re in, so when some muscles get too tight and short, it moves the bones they’re attached to, and that in turn moves other muscles that are also attached to those bones. This creates behaviours such as technique problems, and eventually, pain.
The REASON the dog was showing scared behaviours was because of the beeping noise, so the solution to changing this behaviour was to show her the smart meter and plug it into the mains to stop it beeping.
The solution to changing your body’s behaviour is find the REASON for the technique problem, the tightness or the pain.
In the case of calf tightness, Achilles pain, plantar fasciitis and many other issues, the REASON is usually an internal rotation of the thigh bone (femur), which can be explained in simple terms in this video (click the image).
If you’re not sure whether this internal rotation of the thigh bone is causing you problems or not, here are a few technique issues that it can cause:
– knees close to crossbar on bike
– knees caving in on a squat
– low knee lift in running
– heels kicking outside of knee in running
– poor kick strength in swimming
– lack of hip extension in just about everything
but perhaps the simplest way to tell, is to jump up and down on the spot a few times, then look down at your feet. If you draw a straight line down from the centre of your kneecap to the floor, would it be in line with your second toe?
If it’s in line with your big toe, or even inside your big toe, then internal rotation of the femur is a problem for you.
You can start making a difference to your calf tightness, quickly, simply by following along with my FREE Hip Flexors 5 Ways Video. To get instant access, simply fill in the form below and don’t forget to let me know how you got on!