Lower leg exercises are often abandoned when trainees ignore legs completely; even trainers who are wise enough to train their upper legs often neglect the calves.
As with ignoring upper leg exercises, ignoring calf training is a mistake of equal proportions and your whole body needs to function as one and get stronger collectively.
Calf training provides a sturdy base for all other muscles and helps you squat, deadlift and even bench press more. It also ensures there are no muscle imbalances which would cause injury.
Don’t let your calves become your weak link…Weak links are the source of injuries!
Fix your weak links and make them strong points and everything else will take care of itself.
Which Exercises Are You Looking For?
- Standing Calf Raise
- Seated Calf Raise
- Leg Press Calf Raise
- Hack Squat Calf Raise
- Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise
- Barbell Towelled Calf Raise
How Should You Train Your Calf Muscles?
You need to train your calves differently to other muscles because they are a stubborn body part and therefore need special treatment.
The principles of progressive overload (increasing weight over time) obviously still applied, however, you need to tweak the volume and frequency.
Your calves are engaged all day every day, when you walk, run, climb steps etc so they are used to lots of work. For this reason light weight calf training won’t even cause a ripple.
You need to use very heavy weights and higher than the usually prescribed 6-12 reps. Try 15-20 reps and work to increase the weight each week. Many bodybuilders also train calves twice per week as they recover quickly so you could try this also.
I’ve found that I can do very heavy calf exercises and whilst it hurts and the time and I might walk like a cowboy for 2-3 days after, the pain is bearable and subsides. Following which you can train them again, just leave at least 72 hours between successive lower leg exercises workouts.