What exercise do you most often overlook? For most people it is calf exercises. They just throw them in at the end of a workout once a week or so.
Your calf muscles are no different than any other part of your physique. They must be given the proper attention.
Many people use the excuse that it's their genetics that is preventing them from developing great, muscular and big calf muscles.
Do not make this mistake and use genetics as an excuse to avoid doing calf exercises.
Are you aware that there is a lot you can do with various calf exercises to drastically improve the development of your calves and get the big calf muscles you want?
The first thing however, is to eliminate the problems associated with many calf muscle exercises resulting and poor calf development.
When performing any calf muscle exercises you will be working primarily two different muscles. They are named gastrocnemius and soleus calf muscles.
The soleus is broad and flat that is found below you gastrocnemius muscle. The gastrocnemius muscle extends from your knee joint to your ankle joint.
It is these two muscles that you use to work your feet and toes. However your soleus is only able to contribute fully when your legs are bent at the knees as with exercises such as the seated calf raise.
There are many things that people do during their calf exercises that prevent them from reaching their true potential.
The following calf exercises will go a long way to help fully develop your calves in both size and strength.
It's very important to remember this key point: All calf muscle exercises need to be performed precisely as instructed. Failure to follow this simple advice will result in you just wasting your time.
This exercise is a basic one that works your gastrocnemius muscles.
Anytime you are performing standing calf raises you need to ensure that your legs are completely straight and there is no bend at your knees.
The best way to do this exercise is to use a standard standing calf machine you can find in almost any gym. If you train at home or for some reason your gym doesn’t have one then just substitute with one-leg dumbbell calf raises instead.
Position yourself in the calf machine and lift the weight up to start. Let your heels lower down for a full stretch in your calves. Then lift up far enough to allow your calves to contract fully. Then continue for the recommended number of reps.
This is by far the best way to develop your soleus muscle.
Sit down and position your feet at about a regular shoulder-width split. Point the toes on both feet straight ahead. Then simply follow the same instructions as mentioned above and perform the exercise through a full range of motion.
The rep range for the seated calf raise should be moderate to high if you are concerned with building big calf muscles.
Try not to rock back and forth, but instead keep your calves working with a steady controlled motion.
Donkey calf exercises are excellent for working your gastrocnemius muscles with some work being done by your soleus muscles.
With any calf muscle exercises like this, you will to use a donkey calf machine or you will need a partner to help you or a weight belt to attach extra resistance.
If you are using the machine begin by placing your middle back on the pad and the balls of your feet on the plate.
Now allow your heels to drop as far below your toes as possible, getting a full stretch in your calf muscles. Next slowly rise up as high as you can on to your toes until your calf muscles are fully flexed.
Hold this position for a second then slowly reverse the procedure to the start. Then repeat.
If you are performing this exercise with a partner stand with the balls of your feet on a block, with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend over and rest your hands on an exercise bench or something to keep your upper body parallel to the floor.
While keeping your legs straight have your training partner sit up on your hips and balance in place. From this point on the rest of the exercise is done the same way as if you were using a donkey calf machine.
As you may have guessed, you will be doing this exercise on a gym leg press machine (preferably a 45 degree plate loaded one).
Sit down as if you were going to do a traditional leg press for your quads. The difference will be where your feet are positioned. Place them just inside a shoulder-width split. Then press the plate of the leg press up and lock your knees. To do the exercise you just push with the balls of your feet and extend and fully contract your calves.
Big calf muscles like all other muscle groups need specific exercises followed by proper nutrition and adequate recovery.
You need to incorporate calf muscle exercises into your over-all body building and physique development program and dedicate the same effort to stimulate muscle growth and then let it recover.
Using the calf exercises above to develop big calf muscles will help to create a very positive visual effect that you can be proud of.
It takes a lot of enthusiasm to stick with useful calf muscle exercises and you have to have the desire to do it. You have to go beyond the point where others stop. Every day you have to find a way to stick with your calf exercises.