Are You Training Your Calves to Break Your Ankles?

Dragon Gym High Altitude Center For Training designs weight lifting programs specifically for pro athletes in their respective sports.
We have come up with many new concepts to prevent injuries over 32 years:

This is part II from “Are you Training Your Calves to Break Your Ankles”
Once you have developed your platform, all your power is now focused and no longer compromised by rolling off to the side on either foot. The key now is to integrate all connective muscle tissue in the leg, with the abs and glutes.
The following exercise is called a CALF SQUAT and is performed on a 2×6 board. You already know the 3 position calves. The important thing now is your impetus of movement and generation of strength to facilitate a vertical, to hurdle, jump, or forward movement with maximum power. To initiate this and the Calf squat you must engage the pyramadalis muscle first ( anterior muscle to the rectus abdominus in the pelvic region). To find it lay on your back , knees bent, feet flat on the floor close to your butt and press your lower back to the floor and exhale. Your hips should come toward your face. You have in this movement changed your center of gravity from your shoulders to your hip flexors and increased your power multifold. You will need to do the same thing standing up. 4 steps to movement, center and power…..1.)contract lower ab, 2.)exhale, 3.) Which initiates momentum, 4.)engage muscle groups you wish to use.
Calf Squats:
With the ball of your feet on the 2×6 board and knees bent and feet straight. You begin the exercise by contracting your lower ab , keeping your lower back straight and not arched, exhale and keeping your knees bent, raise your heels coming up onto your platform, all 5 toes and the ball of your foot solidly placed on the board. From this position press up unbending your knees and flex your adductors forward and gluteus as high as possible. Stay on your platform heels up maintain flex in your adductors and glutes inhale and bend your knees to original position then lower your heels and begin again. Do this in all 3 positions, feet straight, toes together, and heels together. * See “are you developing your calves to break your ankles”

Your verticle should increase by 6 inches. Hurdlers will straighten out their line. Just be sure your movement up or forward is initiated by the lower ab and that you exhale to jump or hurdle. This will also increase muscle development in your hip flexors.

This article comes from my book “Preserving The Male Integrity” if you wish to reprint please ask for permission thanks.
For more info:

I hope this helps.


Belt of Strength

I know you have all heard of “core training.”  In reality this is actually a new term that has come up in the last five years or so.  Its idea was to give support to the lower back.  Unfortunately the core training I have seen over the years barely gives the athlete a 6 pack much less lower back support.  Here is the reason.  When most athletes work their abdominals their positive move is all abs and their negative move is no abs.  It neither targets the muscle necessary for lower back support nor does it allow the athlete to use enough weight to facilitate muscle growth without actually injuring their lower back


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At “Dragon Gym High Altitude Center For Training”  We have come up with a series of isolation exercises that make up what we call the “Belt Of  Strength.”

First of all you need to know how to do an abdominal exercise and second you probably would like to know what muscle actually supports your lower back.



It is called the pyramidalis muscle.  It is the anterior muscle to the rectus abdominus in the pelvic region.  To find it lay on your back, knees bent with heels close to your butt  place one hand palm down under your lower back.  Now try to crush your hand with your lower back and you will have engaged your pyramidalis muscle.  Another muscle that you will have engaged and is almost impossible to do so while you are standing or running, unless you contract the pyramidalis, are your hip flexors. Now that you know where it is put your hands behind your neck with your thumbs supporting your neck and your elbows to the left and right.  Without bending your neck, keep it straight, look at the wall behind you.  Pressing your lower back to the floor raise your shoulders 4 inches off the floor.  Exhale during this move.  While you are up in this position continue to exhale and contract the pyramidalis as hard as you can…press that lower back to the floor.  Now here is the catch for all your exercises.  When you begin your negative inhale but while you are inhaling maintain your flex.  Never allow your ab to relax.  You are now using your brain to work out…..See article “Retraining The Brain”

If you do this exercise as described.

It will:

1)      Take the pressure off your lower back and help prevent lower back injury.

2)      Eliminate lower back pain due to stress

3)      Center your body and give you impetus of movement, power and strength for all exercises

4)      Help prevent abdominal tears

5)      For men help prevent cremaster muscle strains and tears




To engage six pack development you need to get your brain to focus on it.  See Article “Retraining The Brain”  Another words if you are able to focus on the muscle fiber of just one part of your six pack you will not need nearly as much weight to build it.  Using the same above procedure and keeping your lower back to the floor have your spotter “Pressure Point Focus” each area of your six pack while you are doing the exercise above.  Have your spotter press with the tips of their fingers into that part of the six pack you wish to develop. Your spotter will tell you when that part of your six pack is contracted and if it is maintaining the contraction during your negative movement.  Then move on to the second part of your six pack and repeat the exercise etc.  My athletes can contract and relax their 6 or 8 pack individually and from the left to the right side.

If you do this exercise as described

It will:

Allow major six pack development

Assist in entire upper body structural support

Greater protection to vital organs during sports

Complete flexibility to abdominal structure

Prevent abdominal tears




You need to be on the floor with your knees bent and heels to your butt.  You want to work your obliques and be able to keep your pyramidalis in position.  Meaning you do not want to arch your back any longer you want to keep your back flat.  This is why athletes have lower back pain doing abs and squats etc.  When you come off the floor in an ab exercise roll up do not arch your back to get off the floor.  If you arch your back you are putting the pressure on your lower back not your abs.

With your hands behind your head and your back on the floor, keep your lower ab, pyramidalis, contracted and your lower back straight exhale and contract your pyramidalis and roll up and bring your left elbow past your right knee.  In this twisted position keep both hips on the floor at all times.  Maintaining this twisted position inhale as well as maintaining your flex to prevent lower back injury and lower your body back to the floor.  Your right elbow should be facing the floor at this time.  Just before your right elbow hits the floor exhale twist your body around and come back up so your right elbow goes past your left knee without your back and shoulders touching the floor and without your lower back arching inversely and hyper extending.  Your left elbow should now be facing the floor inhale and lower your body back to the floor.  Just before your left elbow hits the floor exhale twist your body around and come back up and start the exercise again.

If you do this exercise as described

It will:

1)      Develop your obliques without lower back and ab injury

2)      Open up your hips for more flexibility

3)      Support your lower back during rotation of upper and lower body

4)      Maintain center, power and strength during rotative movements




I like to call the transverse the flank muscle up to the ribs.  Standing straight facing a mirror have weight in left hand with your right hand flat on your neck and elbow straight out to the right maintaining your alignment, keeping your glutes contracted and as high as you can get them to your lower back “See Alignment Article”  Inhale and keep your arms to the side arch your back to the side by lowering the weight to your left knee.  Contracting your lower ab exhale and arch to the right past 12 noon to a one o’clock or 11 o’clock position respectively.  Think of a pendulum and continue to face front do not arch your right elbow around in front of you and do not twist your body.  Your head should be at 11 or 1 o’clock respectively if your are looking in a mirror.  Remember not to arch your lower back keeping your pyramidalis contracted.  Even when your are standing think of your lower back pressed to the floor and keep it from arching. You want your back straight while your are arching your body to the left and to the right.  Do a set of ten minimum.  Switching the weight to your right hand repeat the exercise.

If you do this exercise as described

It will:

Help protect your organs from a side blow to the left or right

Protect your ribs with muscle

Stretch your ribs and rib cartilage with flexible muscle

Develop, as a bonus, your serratus anterior muscle




This exercise will hit the lower part of your back with the support coming from your pyramidalis and the rectus and your obliques. This will also attack that fat you have at your waist above your gluteus medius.

Taking your 45lb Olympic bar and putting it on your shoulders with your arms over the top and stretched out along the bar tuck your ab as tight as you can never allowing your lower back to arch or invert or you will injure your lower back.    Facing the mirror bend at the waist slightly forward and twist the weight  from your left to the right 90 degrees while you exhale and contract your abs.  The left side of the bar and your stretched out left hand should be facing the mirror.  Do not go past 90 degree twist.  Make sure you keep as little momentum as possible so you do not pull out your back.  Keep the weight in control during your twist.   Keep facing your head toward the mirror and see yourself in the mirror.  Try not to move your hips.  Even though this is not possible keep them as straight ahead as possible to get a full oblique and lliocostalis stretch as possible.  Inhale …very important….and maintaing your flex and abs bring the weight to its original position.  Exhaling contracting swing the weight from your right to your left 90 degrees following the above procedures.  Repeat the exercise 20 times.

If you do this exercise as described

You will:

1)      Get full flexibility during a twisting movement without tearing out your lower back

2)      Stretch your ribs, rib cartilage with flexible muscle


Commonly called your back straps.  How do you reach from your neck to your waist?  Go to your Roman chair laying down facing the floor with your abs on the seat and your heels tucked under the upper rollers.  Your legs should be straight out from your waist.  Bend from the waist with your head to the ground or at 90 degree bend from your waist to the floor put your hands behind your neck and your elbows touching each other in front of your face..  From the floor look up toward your feet.  From this position you are going to do what is called an inverted Roman Chair.  The difference is, in my exercise, you will not destroy your lower back in doing it.  First of all think of a cat.  Have you ever seen a cat stretch arching its back.  You will do the same thing in this exercise.  Instead of swinging to a straight lay out position your are going to arch up to a layout position.  Here is how you do this.  Contracting your pyramidais will initiate the arch at the lowest part of your back. And have your elbows follow a pretend bar from the floor to your waist.  Contract and begin uncurling your lower back to your shoulders, when you get to the top or your shoulders open up your elbows to your left and to the right with your hands still behind your neck.  Inhale and descend to the floor with your elbows coming together again and repeat the exercise.

If you do this exercise as described

It will:

1)  Allow flexibility and fluids into the vertebrae

2)  Keep your lower back from hyper extending and becoming injured

3)  Help your glutes to support your lower back

4)  Develop your entire back strap with muscle and flexibility

5)  Keep vertebrae flexible with muscle development


If you do all of these exercises as described:

You will:

1)       Have a “Belt Of Strength” that is virtually impenetrable during sports

2)      Give you center, and strength in movement

3)      Develop muscle in this “Belt Of Strength” to integrate with connective muscle tissue,    to facilitate flexibility in movement with power and strength.



This information comes from my book “Preserving The Male integrity” and the new concepts developed in weightlifting training for the athlete over the last 34 years @ Dragon Gym High Altitude Center For Training.  If you wish to reprint Please ask for permission.  The terms BELT OF STRENGTH and PRESSURE POINT FOCUS are copywrited programs.  CONTACT………..WEB

Body Alignment and Injury-Free Lifting

Without body alignment you, as an athlete, are probably developing an injury.

Unless it is a clean break that injury you received is something you have been working on for a long time. Injuries rarely just happen. They actually evolve through incorrect body position and lifting.

At the training center we conduct athletic physicals to see what injuries you, as an athlete, are developing and work immediately to correct them.

The first step is body alignment. This is broken down into 4 areas of the body. 1. Adductors, 2. Pyramidalis and hip flexors, 3. Glutes and 4.traps. The first thing you want to do is understand movement and center of gravity.

There are 4 steps to movement as well, bare with me.
1. contraction 2. exhale 3. momentum and 4. Engage the muscle group you wish to use.

How all this applies;

The #1 neglected muscle is thee adductors. It is unfortunate because if you want to prevent knee injury it is one of the few true supports of your knee. You have the magnus, from your knee up. Longus, brevis and the pectineus at your pelvis. If you wonder why your legs have no definition and just mass it is the lack of adductor development. This is also important to your forward and upper motion and power considering it is half your leg!

It is essential to alignment.

With your legs slightly wider than shoulder width stand with your feet straight. Do not turn out or you will miss the adductor development. Contract your adductors forward and exhale at the same time. Try to maintain the flex and inhale. Begin again. Once you can actually contract the adductors from the longus to the pectineus it is time to stage 2.
The pyramadalis muscle is the anterior muscle to the rectus abdominus and is key to forced expiration and much more.

It is your center, power, vertical, momentum and strength.

Without it you are just everybody else out there.

Without this development you will also lack the engagement of your hip flexors.
When you contract this muscle you will hinge at the belly button almost as if you were going to sit and your lower back will straighten and your hip flexors will now engage.
Goodbye lower back pain.
When you contract exhale. You cannot fully contract any muscle without exhaling.


Stage 3. To fully execute the adductors and the pyramidalis you will need to contract the glutes as high up to your waist as possible.

Stage 4. Contract your traps not up but back behind your neck and never bring them forward again, to the back part of the letter “-C” See Rotator Cuff Injury prevention article.
Lift from this alignment and initiate your power from contracting your pyramadalis while exhaling.
You will now have centered your power and will be using all of your weight in movement instead of half your weight if you initiated from your shoulder.

If you maintain this alignment during lifting you will always be developing your traps, abs, glutes and adductors.

To find your pyramidalis muscle lay on your back with your feet to your butt. Put your hand under your waist and try to crush it with your lower back. You will notice your hips coming toward your face. You always want to contract this muscle and exhale with any positive move you make in lifting weights.

*It will prevent lower back injuries and pain.

*If you keep the traps back when you lift you will prevent rotator cuff injuries.

*If you contract your glutes, hip flexors and pyramidalis you will center your gravity and give yourself a “Belt Of  Strength”

*If you contract your adductors and all thee above you are running through walls.

*This material comes from my book “Preserving The Male Integrity”
All concepts are from 32 years of development at Dragon Gym High Altitude Center For Training.

*If you reprint please ask first. Many thanks!


Master Del