Most people, unless they are genetically gifted, complain about their lack of calf development. Proper form is everything when training the calves. Make sure you go to the absolute lowest point and to the absolute highest point, and hold it for few seconds. Using correct form can make all the difference. It's much better to sacrifice weight rather than form when training calves. Quality, not quantity…

Building great calf muscles is one of the most difficult tasks you face when you are trying to develop a complete physique. Training them frequently and not any less than your upper body will help you bring balance to your physique!!

I suggest two types of rep performance - slow and controlled, 3-4 seconds down and 3-4 seconds up, full range -all the way down and all the way up in order to get a good stretch and fast, explosive movements. During these faster reps, you still want to work through the full range of motion; you want to explode out of the bottom, and go all the way to the top. In both cases, keep a good "rhythm" going, no stopping and starting again, and think in terms of the set being one continuous rep.

The workout below should be performed doing 4 sets of 10-12 reps.  Warm up should be 2 sets of 10 reps using light weight.

CALF PRESS ON THE LEG PRESS MACHINE:

  •  Complete 4 sets of 10-12 Repetitions


  1. Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
  2. Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you without locking your knees. Your torso and the legs should make perfect 90-degree angle. Now carefully place your toes and balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform with the heels extending off. Toes can be facing forward, outwards or inwards. This will be your starting position.
  3. Press on the platform by raising your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  4. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.

 

STANDING CALF PRESS:

  •  Complete 4 sets of 10-12 Repetitions

  1. Adjust the padded lever of the calf raise machine to fit your height.

  2. Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forward (or using any of the two other positions described at the beginning of the chapter). The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the calf block with the heels extending off it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Toes should be facing forward. This will be your starting position.

  3. Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.

  4. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.


SEATED CALF PRESS:

  •  Complete 4 sets of 10-12 Repetitions

 

  1. Sit on the machine and place your toes on the lower portion of the platform provided with the heels extending off. Choose the toe positioning of your choice (forward, in, or out).

  2. Place your lower thighs under the lever pad, which will need to be adjusted according to the height of your thighs. Now place your hands on top of the lever pad in order to prevent it from slipping forward.

  3. Lift the lever slightly by pushing your heels up and release the safety bar. This will be your starting position.

  4. Slowly lower your heels by bending at the ankles until the calves are fully stretched. Inhale as you perform this movement.

  5. Raise the heels by extending the ankles as high as possible as you contract the calves and breathe out. Hold the top contraction for a second.

BARBELL STANDING CALF PRESS:

  • Complete 4 sets of 10-12 Repetitions


  1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place it on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck).

  2. Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.

  3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance. Also maintain a straight back and keep the knees with a slight bend; never locked. This will be your starting position.

  4. Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending (other than the slight initial bend we created during positioning) at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.

  5. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.

  6. Now lift your toes by contracting the tibia muscles in the front of the calves as you breathe out.

  7. Hold for a second and bring them back down as you breathe in.