Post # 1
Hey ladies! So i’m 20 yrs old and I have played softball since I was 5. I’ve been trying to get more active to lose some weight, I’ve been running, and walking. But I’ve come to notice that when I run or walk I only use my calve muscles, I’ve been trying to find different ways to start using my upper leg muscles also, but no luck thus far.
Soo do any of you ladies know how I can start using my thigh muscles too and not just my calve muscles?
Post # 3
I don’t! My calves get super sore from running after a couple of days of 3 miles a day! I didn’t even think about changing my stride!
Post # 4
@Angelz_love: mine get sore very quickly, I’m only 5′ 3″ so i don’t think I take very big strides, maybe that could affect the muscles you use? hm I have no clue! Lol
Post # 5
I don’t know either. I’m also a 5’3″ runner.
Post # 6
I wonder how sting your quads are? Usually the stronger a muscle the more you use it, also can you concentrate on flexing them while running?
Post # 7
@MsJ2theZ: I don’t think my quads are that strong. I have Huge calves though. How would you flex them? (might be a dumb question) I’m standing here trying to flex them with no luck, and feel kinda dumb lol
Post # 8
Are you trying to find ways to use your thigh muscles while running/walking? I would just suggest doing squats. I can always “feel the burn” in my thighs after a couple rounds of squats and lunges.
Post # 9
Haha, the best way with easyexplanation is to stand against a wall and flex thebottom of your feet up against it. Sometimes it works best wearing shoes if you don’t get a good stretch without.
Definitely work on strengthening your quads as well as hamstrings as well as the muscles on your outer thigh (your I.t. Band) if your quads aren’t strong enough to support you they won’t be much help when doing anything high impact. You can google all kinds of exercises but I would start with these few ( make sure you YouTube them if you aren’t sure how to do them properly so you don’t hurt yourself, and that you are doing them properly). Do a basic squat for your thighs, maybe start with 3 reps of 10, then lunges, same number of sets and of reps, then clamshells, the are laying on your side and help strengthen your outer thigh. Just a disclaimer I’m just a running bee, not a trainer by any means 🙂 stregthening your hips and abs helps as well
And either way I still recommend googling runners exercises, strength etc just to learn a bit and get informed. You will find a lot more than my little exercises!
Post # 10
Are you running on your toes? Look up proper running form, your whole foot should come in contact with the ground.
I agree with PP who suggest squats, lunges, and clamshells. I’d also suggest a leg press.
Post # 11
Run up a hill using short, quick (but measured) strides. I promise that will get your quads and hammies singing!
If you’re jogging slowly, try slightly lengthening your stride. Taking lots of little steps doesn’t give your upper leg muscles the opportunity to join in on the fun. Focus on a medium-length stride that lifts your knees up in front of you and lifts your heels off the ground. Good luck!
Post # 13
Pay attention to the way your feet hit and leave the ground. Are you pushing off and landing on your toes? If so, that could definitely be the reason your calves are sore, because if you’re running on your toes, your calves are doing all the work.
Try to land and push-off from the middle of your foot. It can take A LOT of effort to change your stride, since you’ve spent your whole life running/walking that way, but start off by consciously changing your stride when you’re walking, then when you’re jogging, etc.
You also mention that you do have “huge quads,” is it possible that your quads are already rather strong, much stronger than your calves, so they just aren’t as sore?
Post # 14
Whatever muscles you use the least in your current activities/day to day will get the most sore during running. I don’t use my calves much in other workouts, so when I started running this spring they were sore too. Warm up, then stretch, then run and stretch again after your run. Your calves should start to get used to the exercise and get stronger and less sore as your progress.
If you are concerned about form, you can have someone videotape you running and compare it to other videos that show proper running form. (I’m sure a youtube search would turn up some.) You can at least see if you have a form issue or not. Usually issues with form will turn into aches/pain in your ankles, knees, hips and back. But that might not happen for some time or unless you are running longer distances more frequently. You can also hire a running coach to look at your form and help you make changes if needed.
Post # 15
I agree with checking your stride. Make sure you are using most if not all of your foot. I am not a medical or exercise professional at all, but I try to do build-ups to get my stride to lengthen. Use like a track or other flat straight surface and start with slow, exaggerated steps and build up speed until you have a full sprint. This gets you to stretch out your stride and feel a different form. Good luck!
Post # 16
I’m a forefoot striker with calf issues. no injuries, they’re just tight. you will naturally begin to run further on your midfoot as you get faster and stronger. Don’t do speedwork at this leve, and don’t overcompensate by heel-striking (also known as “overstriding”). That will definitey mess you up. There’s a lot of theories out there about how to run, but honestly, your stride will just improve if you work on running more. And yes, you WILL get sore. That’s part of the deal.