/ how to condition calfs for ice climbing

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CurlyStevo - on 21 Feb 2013
Hi,
im finding now i dont live in scotland my calfs can easily get over worked at the start of a multiday trip and take days to fully recover. Whats the best strategy for conditioning my legs prior to this.

Cheers,
Stevo
WILLS - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: if you have stairs or a step in the house it's easy. This can be done with or with out your boots on. Place balls of your feet on the edge of the step. Keep your feet at 90 degrees, hold until burning becomes too much rest for half the time you were on for and repeat. This can be made harder by standing on the front edge of the boot/toes, slowly raising and lowering your ankle and standing on one leg with a rucksack full of weight. Basically these are calf raises. Can start the 8 weeks out from the start of winter and keep going until spring.
ice.solo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Ballet
dek - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Good question Curly, been having similar thoughts. Is doing a steep uphill training routine in trainers more beneficial than indoor, calf raising sessions ( monotonous) or a combo of both?
CurlyStevo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to dek: by steep uphill do you mean walking? I did a lot of walking focussing on hilly stuff prior to my last trip and it helped but not enough by a long way!
dek - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Yes, I've got the Arthur's Seat nearby for a quick trundle to stretch the legs.
blackcat on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Hi mate for what its worth for calf training i just do 500 reps of calf raises with full winter pack on,start with what you can do then increase reps,i do this 3 to 4 times per week,and have no calf fatigue when ice climbing,together with hill walking.
CurlyStevo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to blackcat:
no need to actually put crampons on then?

I would imagine the issue ice climbing is from holding a position statically rather than raises but I guess just conditioning the muscle through raises helps enough?
WILLS - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: as I stated keep them static until burning becomes too much. Lowering the heels is better than raising but I would do both as this just gives a good all round work out.
Alan Bates on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yes Will's calf raise suggestion is the one I use. A physio friend once reminded me that it is important to not just do the raise and back to horizontal but also to extend in the opposite direction by dropping your heels and then back to horizontal.
ianstevens - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: A seemigly minor thing I do is just to always walk up steps on your toes, i.e. not putting your whole foot on the step. Whilst it's only a minor thing, if you walk up your stars 10 times a day thats a hundred reps.

It clearly doesn't work by itself and you'll have to do some of the above exercises, but even a little helps right?

It helps I regularly have to do 4/5 flights of stairs to get to lectures...
Ron Walker - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> Hi,
> im finding now i dont live in scotland my calfs can easily get over worked at the start of a multiday trip and take days to fully recover. Whats the best strategy for conditioning my legs prior to this.
>
> Cheers,
> Stevo

Go for a walk up the hills at the back of your house...;-)
You could maybe relax your calfs and drop your heels more or maybe your front points are too long?

CurlyStevo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to Ron Walker:
I think dropping my heels is related to the issue as it over stretches the calfs in a strained position?

I think my front points maybe a bit long tbh, but I still think that to go from no ice climbing to multipitch ice (I don't seem to get the same problem as much on mixed) I need some calfs training and more than just walking / running / stairs.
Big Lee - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I do a combination of calf-raises down the gym with weights loaded on to my shoulders. I tend to do lower weights / higher reps to build up endurance.

I do lots of skipping to strengthen calves for ice climbing. No fancy moves.
GrendeI on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Calf raises, jogging on the spot (bouncing on the toes) and lunges were my pre winter torture. Followed by lots of stretching.
Scott_vzr on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Go snowboarding, must be a plastic or indoor slope nearby, ant TOE SLIDE for half an hour, excellent calf training !

The only thing I have done similar to the CALF PUMP you get front pointing.

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