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Saturday, April 30, 2016

4 Calf Exercises That Show Results

Genetics is one of the key factors that can sperate the good physique from the complete masterpiece. Among the most genetically driven muscle groups is the calves.

If you are one of the individuals that have been blessed with great lower leg genetics than heed the following mistake prevention tips closely for optimal calves. But if you are one of the many who lack great calve development, be sure to follow our guidelines on our:




Leg Machine Calf Press 



Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
    Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you without locking your knees. (Note: In some leg press units you can leave the safety bars on for increased safety. If your leg press unit allows for this, then this is the preferred method of performing the exercise.) Your torso and the legs should make perfect 90-degree angle. Now carefully place your toes and balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform with the heels extending off. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
    Press on the platform by raising your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
    Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
    Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Be very cautious as you place the feet in the bottom part of the platform as if you slip and the safety bars are not locked then you could suffer a serious accident.

Variations: You can perform this exercise one leg at a time.



Closed chain exercises are those movements where the lower leg is fixed to an object or ground. Examples include straight leg calve raises and seated calve raises. Try to really hit the calves with open chain exercises, or those involving your lower leg off a fixed surface. How can you do this?


    Seated Calf Raises







The second exercise for calves is the machine for the Seated Calf Raises. Put your desired weight on the machine and sit down. Keep your feet shoulder width apart with the balls of your feet on the foot block. You can adjust the pads at your knees for the desired height. Lift up the weight with your feet and remove the pin that's in the machine. Slowly lower for about 2 seconds down as far as you can go. Pause at the bottom and wait another 2 seconds. Then raise, again, lasting 2 seconds and stop at the top. Flex your calves when you reach the top and hold it for 2-3 seconds. The recommended sets are about 8-10, depending on whether you are going for size or strength. And that's all there is to this one.


Standing Calf Raises




 Adjust the padded lever of the calf raise machine to fit your height.
    Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forward (or using any of the two other positions described at the beginning of the chapter). The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the calf block with the heels extending off it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
    Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
    Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
    Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: If you suffer from lower back problems, a better exercise is the calf press as during a standing calf raise the back has to support the weight being lifted. Also, maintain your back straight and stationary at all times. Rounding of the back can cause lower back injury.

Variations: There are several other ways to perform a standing calf raise. A barbell instead of a machine can be used instead as well as dumbbells, one leg or two legs at a time. Refer to the exercise descriptions of these movements below. A smith machine can be used for calf raises as well. 



Calf Press  






Adjust the seat so that your legs are only slightly bent in the start position. The balls of your feet should be firmly on the platform.
    Select an appropriate weight, and grasp the handles. This will be your starting position.
    Straighten the legs by extending the knees, just barely lifting the weight from the stack. Your ankle should be fully flexed, toes pointing up. Execute the movement by pressing downward through the balls of your feet as far as possible.
    After a brief pause, reverse the motion and repeat.



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