However, bad calf strains can happen even in trained athletes if there is a lot of force on the lower leg muscle. Calf strain is a common muscle injury and if not managed appropriately there is a risk of re-injury and prolonged recovery. While that is part of what makes this exercise so effective, it also places extra stress on your lower back. Calf Strain Alex Petruska, PT, SCS, LAT ANATOMY . Injury to the plantaris muscle can mimic some of the symptoms of a calf strain or Achilles tendon tear, but the recovery from a plantaris muscle injury is typically much simpler. Mcdavid Calf Compression Sleeve for Calf Strains, Shin Splints and Varicose Veins, Aids in Injury Recovery & Prevention, Men & Women, Includes 1 Sleeve 4.5 … Muscle strains commonly occur in the medial head of the gastrocnemius or close to the musculotendinous junction. (2002), shows that the vastus medialis (inside of the quad), vastus lateralis (outside of the quad), and tibialis anterior (outside of calf) had greater muscular activation in the sumo deadlift. The major muscles in the back of the leg are the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. While most people will pull a muscle in their lower backs at some point, these injuries usually heal within several days. Anatomy . When you use a barbell, the weight is slightly in front of your center of gravity (COG) and base of support. A study by Escamilla et al. Night leg cramps (also called nocturnal leg cramps or “charley horses”) mostly happen in the calf muscles. The calf muscles consist of the Gastrocnemius, which is the big . is a smaller muscle lower down in th e leg and under the . Gastrocnemius. Personally, I wouldn’t use the sumo deadlift as a variation to get more quad activation. If you use dumbbells, you can keep the load closer to your COG, which will reduce back strain. muscle at the back of the lower leg , and the Soleus muscle, which . 1- Dumbbell stiff-leg deadlifts. Either of these two muscles can be strained (torn). 9 . Calf Muscle Cramps During the Night.