More than any other muscle, working your calf can sometimes be repetitive and stale. After all, there are only so many calf raising exercises to choose from … right?
To show you how much diversity exists, we’ve put together five of the most effective calf rearing practices out there. Rotate these exercises into your weekly routine to keep things fresh – and hit your calves from every angle.
1. Raising a permanent calf
- Stand with a pair of dumbbells beside you, separating the buttocks-width of your feet and keeping the toes forward.
- Squeeze your calf muscles at the top of the movement and lift the ball over your legs as much as you can.
- Take a break, then lower your heels in a slow, controlled motion. (Go very fast, and your Achilles tendon will work harder than your calf muscles.)
- Repeat as much as you want while maintaining that slow pace.
2. Raising the seated calf
- Hold two medium to heavy dumbbells above your knees and sit tall on a bench or chair with your feet flat on the ground. (Make sure the weights are above the muscles and not the bones.)
- Keeping your core engaged, lift your heels off the ground as much as possible.
- Slowly lower your heels to the ground and repeat.
- Hold a dumbbell in your right hand next to you and place the ball of your right foot on a raised surface (the base of a turning bench, an aerial step, or weight plate all work well).
- Cross your left ankle behind your right back, hold the wall, a rail or other sturdy surface for balance, and slowly lower your right ankle to the floor (without connecting).
- Raise your right ankle as high as possible, giving your right calf a pressure at the top of the movement.
- Pause, and then lower yourself to the starting position. Perform equal reps on both sides.
4. Walking on the farmer’s toes
- Hold a pair of medium to heavy dumbbells beside you, separating the hip-width of your legs.
- Keeping your shoulders down and back, and keeping your core engaged, lift your heels so that you stand on your toes.
- Without letting your heel touch the ground, move forward for a certain number of repetitions or periods.
5. Raising the donkey calf
- Stand on a small step or weight plate with the balls of your feet at the far end of it.
- Hold your waist so that your back is flat and use both hands to hold an inline bench, rail or sturdy chair around waist height.
- Without bending your knees, slowly lower your heels to the floor as far as possible and then pause for a one-count.
- Raise your heels as high as possible, squeeze your calf muscles at the top of the movement and hold for one-count.
- Take a full three-count and lower your heel to the floor and repeat.
Why you should change calf workouts
If the idea of your calf working involves a dozen repetitions of raising a standing calf and calling it a day, you can damage your lower leg muscles.
1. Sitting and standing calves emphasize different muscles
Your calves are primarily made up of two muscles: Gastroenteritis (Or gastrointestinal, for short) and Soles.
Gastroenter – more visible between the two muscles – points to your toes, as well as flexes your knees and helps push you forward (such as explosive exercises such as jumping and sprinting).
Meanwhile, less visible solias initially help point your toes and contribute more to tolerance-centered activities such as walking.
So, if you do any kind of exercise or activity, it is important to work both calf muscles.
However, some movements support one calf muscle over another.
“Standing calf exercises will emphasize the gastrocnemias, while sitting calves can emphasize the raised floor,” said Performance Recovery Coach Jennifer Novak, MS, CSCS.
2. Increases the body weight and train muscles of the calf in charge separately
Similarly, exercising calves with or without excess weight will change the focus of the exercise.
In general, only body weight exercises (e.g., jumping rope and lifting body weight standing calves) will emphasize muscle endurance, while weighted exercises will focus more on muscle strength and size, Novak says.
3. Height can intensify calf growth
Meanwhile, exercising calves on a raised surface allows you to strengthen your muscles through their full range of motion.
However, Novak suggests stopping them before their heels go down parallel to give their calf muscles time to adapt to the demands of the exercise.
4. Different foot angles work in different parts of the calf
In addition to working out the different calf exercises in your workout, you can change the focus of any calf exercise by turning your toes (to notice the outside of your calf) or outside (to notice the inside of your calf). , According to Novak.
Changing your calf’s exercise not only keeps your exercise routine fresh, it ensures that your calves are stronger from every angle.