Calves are a trouble spot for many people. There are countless reasons why ranging from poor genetics to people just not enjoying working those stubborn devils. But work them you must if you want a balanced physique! So with that in mind we compiled a few tips to help with the journey. Try and incorporate a few of these gems the next time you are in the gym working the lower legs.
Hopefully they can quickly help shape up those calves and turn them into cows.
Calf Growing Tips
- Smith Machine Calf Raises – While a lot of gyms have a standard standing calf raise machine you can also use a Smith Machine. Instead of a block however, you stand on weight plates. Use a 25 or 35lb plate and you will end up working your ankles and more inner calf by default. You can use two 25lb plates and space them further apart with one foot on each to work the outer calves more. The plates are oddly shaped to stand on which requires you to roll your ankles differently than just angling your heels in our out on a standard block.
- Ski Jumps – This exercise also uses the Smith Machine. This time stand under the weight but with no blocks or plats under your feet and un-rack the weight. Take one step with both feet. Your body will now be bent forward at the ankle like a ski jumper. From this stretched position push up and forward with only the calves to raise the weight. The angle is unlike straight calf raises.
- Front Calf Work – The front of the calves need love too. Sit on the end of a bench with your feet flat on the ground, together, in front of you. Position a 45lb plate so the edge sits on top of your toes. Now raise your toes up. If the plate is too heavy try a 35lb or 25lb plate to start. Aim for 20 reps.
- Super Slow Reps – This helps work the entire range of motion and is much better than quick jerky motions. Un-rack the weight (seated or standing calf raises) and lower to a full stretch position and hold for a 4-count. Then slowly raise the weight over a 4 -count. Finally hold the peak contraction for a 4-count before lowering the weight over a 4-count.
- Treadmill Pump – At the end of the workout jump on a treadmill and start walking at a slow speed and then raise the incline to the max. Every time you step push up with the calves. After 5 or 10 minutes your calves should be beyond fully pumped. Then jump off the treadmill go stretch out your calves fully to help stretch the fascia tissue over the muscles as well.
There you have it; 5 great tips to help destroy your calves the next time you hit the gym! Just make sure you don’t have any big plans for a few hours after this workout because more than likely you will be shambling and stumbling around after blasting those calves.