If you are someone who likes to go to the gym, you will know that there are strength training machines that will work every part of your body, whether it’s your back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest or quads, for example.
However there is one part of your body that is not very well catered for, and that’s your calf muscles.
You will generally find that there are only a few machines that will enable you to develop your calves – the weighted calf raise machine and the seated calf raise machine – but some smaller gyms may not have either of these machines. Therefore you will be forced to do standing calf raises, either at home or in the gym, which don’t always yield particularly good results.
So if you are serious about developing your calves, here are three ways of making the standing calf raise exercise a lot more effective:
Do One-Legged Calf Raises
One easy way to make this exercise harder and more effective is to simply do one-legged calf raises instead of two. So in other words, instead of pushing yourself up on to your toes using both legs at once, you will be placing all of your weight on one leg, which instantly adds more resistance and makes your calf muscles work a lot harder.
Use A Ledge / Platform
Another really good way of making the standard calf raise a lot more challenging is to stand with the front of your feet on some kind of ledge or platform. By doing so, you will be lowering yourself down a lot further and subsequently making your calves work a lot harder in the upwards phase of the exercise. If you cannot find a suitable ledge in your home or garden, a pavement / sidewalk will work just as well.
Add Some Weighted Resistance
One final way you can work your calves harder is to hold on to some weights whilst you perform this exercise. By holding on to a heavy dumbbell or a weighted barbell you can easily increase the resistance and do enough reps to completely exhaust your calves, which is hard to do with a basic standing calf raise.
Many people fail to include any calf exercises in their legs workout, but they need to be pushed hard just as much as your quads, glutes and hamstrings, for example, if you want some completely well-developed legs, and these three tips will help make your calf raises much more effective.