Calf Raises — The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Lower Body Strength
The calf raise is one of the best exercises to improve lower body strength. They target the calves and Achilles tendons, but they also make other muscles in the legs stronger. They're an easy way to build muscle while also improving balance and posture.
If you want to get started with calf raises but aren't sure how or where to begin, this guide will help you regarding the exercise's proper form, how much weight is appropriate for each exercise, and more.
Why You Should Add Calf Workout to Your Leg Workout Routine?
The calf muscles are a large group of muscles that run along the back of the lower legs.
They're responsible for many important functions, including walking, running and jumping. Calf strength is also crucial for balance and o keep yourself upright when standing still or walking around all day.
In addition to being an important part of everyday life, strong calves can help you be a better athlete if you play sports that require quick bursts of speed, like basketball or soccer.
Calf Workout at Home - How to do Calf Raise
You can do this exercise in a few ways, depending on your equipment and training preferences.
- Standing on the edge of a step or platform, place your feet shoulder-width apart with the balls of your feet on the surface. The toes should point straight ahead and not out to either side.
- Keeping the knees slightly bent and back straight, raise both heels as high as possible while keeping the balls of the feet firmly planted on the ground (you may need to lift up with one leg at a time).
- Repeat for reps if desired, and try not to lock out at the top of each rep.
How to Do Calf Raise with Weights?
It's done as follows:
Use a dumbbell: The most basic way to perform calf raise is with just your bodyweight. If you want to increase the intensity and challenge of the exercise, use a dumbbell held at arm's length in each hand.
Use a barbell: If you have access to weights at home or at the gym, try loading up an Olympic barbell with plates and using that as your weight source instead of dumbbells or kettlebells (which are also great options).
Use a machine: Many gyms have machines designed specifically for performing calf raise. These can be helpful for beginners who may not yet have mastered bodyweight exercises but still want some guidance on form.
However, they're also useful even after building up strength, as they allow greater control over range-of-motion than free weights. Moreover, there's less risk of injury due to improper form, as everything is already set up correctly before each rep begins.
These exercises will help you build strong and healthy calves
The benefits of the exercise are as follows:
- Calf raises are a great way to work on the muscles in the calves.
- They can be done at home or the gym, with or without weights.
- They're a good warm-up exercise before engaging in other activities that involve a lot of movement from the lower body (like running).
Calf raises can be performed as a standalone workout — especially for those who have been weight training for years and are looking for new exercises to help them continue to build muscle.
They’re also an integral part of many other workouts. If you’re ready to start adding standing calf raises to your routine, follow the aforementioned tips to get started today.