|Pump Up Your Calf Muscles Today
BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Bodybuilding Articles Pump Up Your Calf Muscles Today
It makes you wonder how they did it in the
It makes you wonder how they
did it in the old days.
We’re not exactly talking the ‘60s and ‘70s,
here. Rather, we were contemplating how the men in the days of
rawhide shorts and leopard skin tank tops pumped up those calf
muscles while training for the annual Bedrock All-Natural.
Did they husk their wives and children on their shoulders,
providing for the ultimate resistance as they transported them via
piggy-back throughout the wild jungles? Or did they haul those
two-ton boulders up the rigorous hills to build the foundation for
that four-bedroom luxury pad?
Regardless, the point is simple. Back in the Stone Age, those
stingy cylinders south of the knees were no less cooperative in
shaping and molding than they are today.
Fortunately, hundreds of years later, we have been graced with the
technological benefits of devices like Nautilus machines, leg press
machines, and seated calf machines. And guess what? Calves are
still as stubborn as Barney Rubble on a grumpy day.
Nonetheless, here are a few of the “bedrock” calf
building exercises to try if you’re interested in turning
those elusive phantom muscles into bulging, granite stones.
STANDING CALF RAISES: Place your feet on the platform so
the balls are flush on the edge. Be sure not to put too much or too
little of your feet on the platform. Slowly raise your heels,
rotating the balls of your feet along the platform, until you are
on the tips of your toes. Hold and squeeze your calves for two
seconds, feeling the contraction, then slowly allow your heels to
drop down slightly below the edge of the platform. Repeat the
process. Try two-three hard sets of 15-20 reps at a tolerable
SEATED CALF RAISES: This exercise is identical in range of
motion to the standing version. The main difference is that your
knees are bent in this exercise, emphasizing the soleus muscle as
opposed to the gastroc muscle (which is stressed in the standing
calf raises). Rotate the balls of your feet on the platform,
lifting the heels as high as you can, squeezing the calves for a
two-count during the contraction. Slowly lower you heels and repeat
the motion for 15-20 repetitions through two-three vigorous
LEG PRESS CALF RAISES: Place your feet on the platform,
locking your knees, so that only the balls and the toes are on the
platform. Your heels should be beneath the platform. Make sure your
feet are parallel to one another and not making a V-shape on the
platform. If need be, place your toes just slightly outward.
However, keep your feet only a couple of inches apart. Slowly
rotate the balls of your feet, lifting the weight with your toes
until your calves are contracted. Squeeze for a moment then slowly
lower your heels before repeating the movement. Finish off with two
or three sets of 12-15 repetitions.
For an interesting high-intensity variation, try a Giant Set using
all three of the exercises listed below. Begin by banging out as
many strict form standing calf raises as you can, move immediately
to seated calf raises (you’ll need to have the weights set up
and ready to go), and complete the Giant Set by doing leg press
calf raises until you can’t do no more. Take a break and
repeat the Giant Set one final time!
Most importantly, remember that the best remedy to a troubling
muscle group is variation and persistence. If your legs seem like
they drop straight from the back of your knees down to your heels
like a freight elevator with no stops in between
don’t be discouraged. You’re not alone.
Calves are a lot like snails. It seems like they’re
constantly hiding in their shells. Of course, it just takes the
proper goodies, the winning form, and that positive, uplifting
attitude to ultimately lure them out.
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