In my small home gym I hold three special simulator to train the calf muscles : for Standing Calf Raises with a load of up to 300 kg, for Sitting Calf Raises and platform with handle for the development of the leg muscles of one leg .
These are the trainers, which can be seen in large commercial gyms and that rarely seen in small home gyms. So why do I still bought them? The answer is simple – I have a sickly calf!
After several years of hard work with all kinds of popular techniques for pumping calves, such as drop sets, explosive movements, supersets, Huge sets, and many others ashamed to admit it, but my progress has been minimal.
I have friends that are professional dancers. They take part in competitions several times a year. Those who dance has usually beautiful figure. They have wonderful shape. But most bodybuilders think that is a bit small. However, professional dancers have well developed calves, sometimes so much that some big guys from gym can envy to them. Thus life itself gives us a clue! If you want to have beautiful arms and shoulders – train like a gymnast. If talking about buttocks and hamstrings you should work as a sprinter. But to develop calf muscles take some lesson from the dancers.
The secret of well-developed dancers calves is that they spend a lot of time moving on their toes – the endless repetition of rise with body weight must be your daily schedule. After some time, the dancers begin to do it with almost no effort and get as a result quite big calves. I think hardly anyone plans to change the bodybuilding to ballet, but I found a way to achieve the same effect.
I decided to perform 100 reps of Calf Raises with my bodyweight each day. No matter how simple it seems but I was doing it every day for a month and was well surprised by the results. My thin calves – changed beyond recognition.
To understand how this simple exercise can help you to obtain massive calves, for beginning you should understand the unique characteristics of calves.
Calf muscles consist of several muscles, but two main of them is gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Gastrocnemius are more tense in a position when your knees are straight (calf raises standing). Soleus muscles work with the knees bent ( seated calf raises ). It is worth noting that the soleus are partially stimulated while calf raises standing.
Soleus has a larger amount of ” slow” muscular fibers – to 88 %. This is the largest percentage content of fibers in the human body . Therefore, the number of reps for the soleus muscle should be larger. But the most traditional workouts for calves compiled without this feature and do not give sufficient load to this “endurance ” muscles. It’s not good , because only a significant amount of load with good intensity can lead to hypertrophy. Lifting significant weight , such as body weight, every day with many reps definitely will increase muscle.
Since in this exercise are not used heavy load, it can be performed daily . Especially frequency of training causes the body to adapt quickly. At first, everything will hurt , but it’s not so scary.
Changing the range of motion
Ideally, the successful growth of calves need to change not only the intensity, volume and frequency of training, but also the range of motion in exercises. When working on calves is always recommended to perform the maximum available range of motion. This means that you not only need to climb as high as possible on your toes , but also fall below the horizontal. That is why in all simulators for calves , there is a special platform on which you stand only on the forefoot and heel can be lowered even further.
What exactly to do
Start with 50 reps calf raises and bring them to 100, using only your own body weight. Repeat this exercise for a month without interruption. You ‘ll be surprised the way your calves grow and form. As an added bonus you will get improved stability and precise coordination.
Although this exercise seems to be simple one, it is important to perform it correctly. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, turn your toes slightly outward. Concentrate on the heels rise up as if they are bound by the ropes, and you pull them.
Being up, contract muscle as hard as you can – imagine double-biceps pose. Do not lean on the wall or on the machine. The meaning is, no way to reduce the load . Our goal is as much as possible to increase our little muscle. Hands just put down along the body or put on a belt .
Exercise should be done barefoot. Try to kick up heels as high as possible. Evenly distributes body weight on your feet. In the upper position greatly contract calves and dwell on a full two seconds. So to do 100 reps is much harder than without pauses. We need a qualitative work of muscles, but not as easily as possible to do 100 reps. So do not try to fake for the sake of a greater number of repetitions.
Control your knees. They should not bent, in other word legs must constantly be straight. Go back slowly to the starting position, do not fall down! If you do not perform these two movements correctly , there will be no sense . That’s so simple. To obtain maximum effect, reps must be performed correctly. You should have muscle pain. After a while you will see how changed and growth your calves. To get results with this method of training, you need to work 10 minutes a day every day for a month.
What results to wait?
For the first 3 months this method helps to increase your calves per centimeter. However, you have to be consistent . If it said ” every day”, it means every single day. Make this a habit. Choose a time of day when you are most comfortable doing it.
Note that this exercise does not require any equipment. Almost nothing, no trainers, no shoes, nothing but a little effort on your part.