Muscle cramps are caused by involuntary spasms lasting only a few seconds or as long as 15 minutes or more. The cramp can often recur in the same muscle(s) repeatedly. A cramp can occur after an intense workout session in which the muscle has undergone injury (i.e., muscle fiber tearing). A cramp in this case may suddenly occur when the particular muscle has been relaxed for a period of time (i.e.., quadricep cramps may occur after heavy leg presses after sitting for awhile afterward). Calf cramps are extremely common and can occur as a result of repetitive impact such as jump roping or running. Calf cramps may occur due to the muscle not being accustomed to a particular exercise such as running, sprints, jump roping, etc..
The exact cause of muscle cramps is still not entirely known although several reasons may include:
Recommended prevention for muscle cramps involves ingesting maltodextrin or dextrose, quick absorbing sugars recommended pre- and post-workout to help prevent muscle cramps. Also, be sure to adequately warm-up your muscles via low-intensity movement (i.e., walking, biking, slow jogging, stair stepping, etc.) to promote blood circulation and nutrient flow within your muscles. Taking adequate time to recover (i.e.., 48 to 72 hours) between workouts may help to lessen muscle cramps. Avoid stretching cold muscles before workouts to avoid possible muscle tearing! Be sure to perform static stretches on muscles exercised immediately following your workouts.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Subscribe to get the latest blog content:
I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.