Pulled Calf Muscle - How About You?

Since I’ve been kayaking, I seem to get more pulled muscles in my calf. I’m attributing it to my foot being flexed on the foot pegs. I know pulled muscles can also happen when you don’t drink enough, but I think it’s the foot peg thing, so I try to flex my foot during the kayak trips, kind of like people do on airplanes, so they don’t get embolisms.

Anyone else feel they get pulled muscles from your feet being on foot pegs for so long?


Loosen legs and fit
If you have to brace that hard to paddle, you should get help with your stroke and/or look at the fit in your kayak. You shouldn’t be putting that kind of constant tension on your calf.

Depending on your boat, you may also want to lose the foot pegs and install foam bulkhead blocks. That is, you brace against a shaped piece of minicell rather than those hard foot pegs.

pulled calf muscle-old age not paddling
I injured my calf two weeks ago pulling a very light Trailex trailer up a sloping lawn.

It had just healed. Then, yesterday I pulled it again sprinting from a mini mart to my car to reduce being soaked from a sudden burst of rain. The healing clock starts all over again. Were I thinking I should have remembered that my days as a track star were 40 years ago.

I blame old age, not paddling, for the pulls. I have always been physically tight, yet never had the typical muscle pulls sprinters are prone to when running track- I was young then.

“This getting old, it’sa no good” (should be said with an Italian accent)


And then when you get even older…
they pull in the middle of the night.

Calf, hamstrings, groin and what is even worse is the tendons.

I did find out, that if I drink more gatoraid, it seemes to allieviate the problem.



Good Thoughts
Yikes, maybe it is old age. I have gotten the pulls in the middle of the night. All of them happened when I was in bed. I don’t recall having these many pulls when I hiked. Now that I have the kayak, I’m not hiking. I thought hubby & I were going to combine both, but it seems we only paddle now. I really need to hit the trail again.

celia, I will try to put less stress on my foot pegs. I think I do tend to press hard. I think if I put more effort into paddling, it would take stress off of my feet.


Hamstring cramps in the night

– Last Updated: Sep-10-08 5:59 PM EST –

A few years ago I started getting hamstring cramps in the night. I was bitching about them to a friend and he told me he cured himself by taking CalMag supplements (Calcium and magniusum).

I have been taking them for about three years and only get cramps when I run out of tablets. Could just be a placubo effect but they work for me.


I already take calcium and magnesium is in the new my new pills. Since I did use them for supplemental calcium, I didn’t take them when I thought I had ingested enough calcium from food; maybe I should take them all the time. I know calcium is paired with magnesium, because calcium is supposed to make you constipated and magnesium is supposed to counter act that, so I wonder if calcium is not the helpful part of that equation if the person is taking calcium that has magnesium in it, so they think it’s both.


Potassium …
and the other electrolytes. I deplete easily and the first sign is cramps. The Gatorade advice above is right on.

However, if it is related in time to paddling, you are still too tense in there.

Stretch your hamstrings before
you get in the boat.

Is it really a pulled muscle

– Last Updated: Sep-10-08 9:16 PM EST –

...or just cramps. I get calf and toe cramps in the evening because I dehydrate everytime I go paddling.

Usually a 1/2 gal of Gatorade solves the problem.

Paddlin' on

I Do Think It’s A Pull
All great ideas. Thank you.

georgia, I think it is a pull, because when it’s happening, I’m saying, “oh crap, sh!t, crap, mother jumper, ooooooow, crap” for what seems like forever. I’ve had my motorcycle fall over on me and it didn’t feel as bad.

I have found that when I sense it coming on, sometimes I can stop it by flexing my foot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.


pump those legs
…if nothing else, it keeps them from stiffening up. Watch a flatwater racer sometime and see how much they move their legs.

And credit yourself that the stress is not only felt in your arms.

It sounds like a cramp, not a pull
You are describing a muscle cramp, not a muscle pull. If it were a muscle pull, stretching would never help and would actually make the injury worse.

The solution to preventing muscle pulls is to warm up before exercise and to stretch. The way to avoid cramps is the fluids and supplements mentioned by the other posters. Gentle stretching and massage can help with cramps too, but you need to be careful with that so that you don’t accidentally turn your muscle cramp into a muscle pull!

20202, I looked both terms up and you are correct, it is a cramp. It can be from hyperflexation in my case, flexing the joint (ankle) closer to the body (feet up and forward on pegs). I think hyperflexing keeps your calf muscle in a stretch position for a long time. But it did say it could happen in older folks, but it can happen often in teenagers. I think I’ll define how delusional I am by what category I place myself in, lol:)

Then wikipedia said that there are nocturnal cramps and that is what I get most times. It said those type of cramps can hurt the worst.

It also listed a cramp as a Charley Horse and that is a term I’ve always used, but thought pull was a more technical term, but it’s a cramp anyway. I think I may try stretching instead of drinking the high calorie hydration drinks or take supplements when it may be from hyperflexing, so the reasons are each very different and have different ways to deal with each one, so I think stretching is the thing to do in my case.

seakak1, what do you mean by pump, flexing the foot/ankle back and forth? I think that motion would be one that would stretch the calf muscle and also release it (a good thing). When my husband is fishing, I’ll hang out by him and lay each leg on it’s side of the kayak, on top, since I have a sit on top or sit somewhat cross legged, relaxing in the sun, but I never took note if I got cramps on days I did stretch and move like that. I’ve got a lot more kayaking to do living in a very moderate climate in the fall and winter, so we’ll see if I don’t get anymore craps by stretching.