Are you having trouble building your calves? These
techniques will help you develop your calves to the very
fullest, including the hard-to-reach inner and outer areas.
Technique #1 - Ski-Jump Calf Raises
Your calf machine must be bolted down solidly to take full
advantage of this technique as you'll be pushing against the
machine at an angle.
Set your shoulders in the calf-raise machine as you normally
would. Now place your feet back about a foot back from
there (don't use a calf-raise block for this technique as
the block may slip out) so your body is at an angle. You
will look somewhat like a ski jumper when you are in this
Push up and forward into the calf raise from this position.
This angle increases the tension in the stretch position and
works the calves at a very unique angle not found in any
other calf movements.
This technique is excellent for any sport requiring explosive
forward movement, e.g. track, football, soccer, volleyball,
etc., as the body position employed with this technique
mimics that movement very closely.
It's also especially useful if you find you're running out
of resistance on the calf machine you're using. Since you'll
be pushing forward against the machine as well as the weight,
the resistance will be greater.
Note: Be sure your shoes have good grip and that you are not
on a slippery surface when you use this technique. Your
feet could slide out.
Technique #2 - Using Weight Plates To Hit the Inner and
This technique will work on any variation of the calf raise
exercise from regular calf machine raises to dumbbell calf
raises to Smith Machine calf raises. It will not only work
the inner and outer calves but it will also help you develop
incredible ankle strength and stability.
Use one 25-pound plate to
hit the inner calves.
Roll your feet down to the outsides
to work the ankles fully.
Instead of using a calf block or the regular footplate of
the machine, you will be using one or two 25-pound weight
plates (depending on which area of your calves you want to
hit) placed on the floor. These will be what you'll be
setting your feet on for the exercise.
To work the inner calves, place one 25-pound plate on the
floor. Stand so that only the front inner quarters of your
feet are on the plate. The sides of your feet will be half
off so your ankles slope down and away. When you execute
the calf raise, raise the sides of your feet and come up
onto the big toe side each foot. Try to force your heels
in together as you come up for a little extra inner-calf
tension. Roll back down and out to complete the movement.
Use two 25-pound plates to hit the outer calves. Opposite to the previous example,
roll your feet down to the inside to work the outer ankles.
To work the outer calves, use two plates with about six
inches of separation between them. Place the outer front
quarters of your feet on the sides of the plates. Your feet
will be tilted down and in. Roll up and do a calf raise then
return to the start position. Make sure you hit both
positions in order to keep the ankles and calves balanced.
Technique #3 - High Incline Calf Walking
For this one, you will need a treadmill with an incline.
It's really quite simple but produces an incredible, muscle-
building pump in even the most stubborn of calves. It is
one of the most effective techniques you can use for getting
past calf-development plateaus.
Set the treadmill to the highest incline setting it's got
and set the machine to a fairly slow speed. You aren't
trying to do cardio here; you're trying to force blood into
Walk for five to ten minutes steadily, focusing on pushing
up with the calves every time you step (like a mini-calf
raise). Keep your body in a straight upright position to
keep the resistance on your calves.
This is an excellent way to enhance blood circulation in the
calves. After you finish your set, stretch your calves hard
once they are fully pumped to expand the fascia. For more
information on stretching for muscle growth, check out the
Technique #4 - Calf Raises On A Dumbbell
When doing one-legged calf raises, stand on a dumbbell handle
(preferably one with round plates so it rolls). This
tendency to roll will make you work to stabilize yourself as
you're doing the calf raise, increasing the effectiveness
of the exercise. Be sure to hang onto something solid as
you're doing this exercise as you don't want to slip off.
The tendency for the dumbbell to roll will allow you to roll
your foot over the top of the handle, giving you full
extension of the calf at the top. As you come up, roll the
dumbbell slightly backward. Roll it slightly forward as you
come down to get a better stretch.
It is also possible to do this technique on the actual
dumbbell plates themselves rather than the handle (make sure
you are hanging on with both hands if you do this version
as it is extremely unstable).
Use a larger dumbbell (e.g.
85 pounder) if you can, though a smaller one will still
work. The reason for the larger dumbbell is to be sure the
plates are wide enough to stand on comfortably (a single
dumbbell plate can dig into your foot quite painfully).
Technique #5 - Add Sets
An Add Set is just the opposite of a Drop Set. Instead of
dropping the weight over the course of an extended set, you
will actually increase it, hence the "add."
This is a very effective technique, especially for the
calves, which recover from work extremely quickly. Calves
need to be really overloaded to get them to grow and this
technique fits the bill.
Start with a moderate weight for your first round-something
you can get about 12 to 15 reps with. Do the set, step off
the machine, shake your calves out then add 10 to 20 pounds
(or more) onto the machine. Step back on and do as many
reps as you can. Step off, add more weight to the machine
and do it again. Repeat this procedure 3 to 5 times or
until you can't more than 5 or so reps with the weight.
Your calves should be fully worked by then!
You can learn more intensity techniques for all your
bodyparts in the article "Intensity Techniques That Will
'Kill' You AND Make You Stronger."
If you are having trouble building your calves and they just
don't seem to be responding to anything, give these five
calf-training techniques a try. They may be just what you
need to spur your calves to new levels of development!
For more great exercises like these, check out my e-book...
|The Best Exercises You Have Never Heard Of!
By: Nick Nilsson
The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of is a compilation of 53 of the most innovative, results-producing exercises on the planet. These exercises are guaranteed to keep you making continuous progress! Click here to download the free sample (1,390 kb). Or click here to buy the e-book for only $ 17.00!
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