In the video below the standing calf raise is demonstrated, using a barbell. Doing a free weight version with 1 leg isn’t recommended as it is very challenging to balance. The peroneus fibularis brevis and peroneus fibularis longus, which lie on the outside of your lower leg, also assist the calves with plantar flexion. A setup like that will target the interior muscles of your calves better. Put the balls of your feet on the foot pad and adjust the height of the knee pad to your desired height. The flexor hallucis longus muscle, in contrast, runs along the back, outside segment of your lower leg, attaching to the bottom third of the fibula bone on top and to the base of your big toe on the bottom. This version is very difficult to balance if you are using free weights. Featured Image: @morrismongodi on Instagram. Make sure you have the right kind of machine if you are perform the single legged version of this exercise, otherwise you might not be able to balance it. These can also be performed with 1 or 2 legs.
By creating stronger, more stable ankles (which can be done via calf raises and other strengthening exercises, especially ones that work the calves with the knee bent), athletes can expect to promote greater movement patterning, assist in stabilizing the knees and hips, and even improve power and strength performance in movements like squats, pulls, weightlifting, and running (as the calves can also affect gait). When we look at certain issues in gait and/or hip/knee issues, the calves (and the effect they have on supporting ankle stability and plantarflexion), can play a significant role in creating stability that may otherwise be lacking (flat feet), etc). You put the balls of the feet on the foot platform and get under the shoulder pads, as if you are beginning a squat. You then press up with your calves to lift up the knee pad and then unlock it. Matthew Schirm has worked in the sports-performance field since 1998. It is much trickier, but doable if you are experienced and safe. Copyright © It is the key stabilizing muscle of the lower leg”, according to Wikipedia.

In this scenario, it helps if you have a small, stable block to put the balls of your feet on when performing reps.

Demonstration of a Standing Calf Raise Machine – Photo By: Wikimedia.

Privacy Policy The calf raise exercise targets the muscles on the back of your lower legs that facilitate plantar flexion, or ankle extension.
Get Body Smart: Muscles That Act on the Foot, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. While both of these are posterior chain dominant, meaning that they rely heavily on the hips and hamstrings, the calves do play a crucial role in the ability to react to the ground (ground reaction force) to promote greater amounts of force. The other muscle attaches to the head and upper half of the fibula bone on top, runs along the outside of your ankle, crosses over the top of your foot and reattaches to near the base of your big toe on the bottom.

But exactly what muscles do calf raises work out? The video below demonstrates proper technique for calf raises on a seated machine. may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. You can vary your stance between sets to target the muscles differently. Join the BarBend Newsletter for workouts, diets, breaking news and more. The gastrocnemius has two parts or “heads”, which together create its diamond shape.” The soleus is “a smaller, flat muscle that lies underneath the gastrocnemius muscle.”.

Still University in 2009. Deficiencies in calf strength may be hard to detect, and are often addressed simply by training compound exercises of more hamstring/calves dominant movements like GHDs, however in SOME cases it may be beneficial to spend some additional time isolating the calves via the standing calf raise. 7 Great Tricep Pushdown Alternatives for Your Workout, 7 Best Seated or Lying Leg Curl Alternatives. ,

Seeing that the standing calf raise can strengthen our ability to plantarflex (place pressure downwards into the floor through the foot), most strength and power athletes will find benefit in growing stronger calves.

The Muscles Worked During Calf Raises | The flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus muscles assist the calves when you perform the calf raise exercise. Join the BarBend Newsletter for everything you need to get stronger. They Play for Sweeps — Toomey and Fraser Win Happy Star. These muscles contract to lift your heels off the floor during the upward-movement phase of the exercise, and to control the speed of movement during the downward movement phase.

and The soleus, which lies underneath the gastrocnemius, shares the same attachment to the back of your heel, but attaches to the upper half of the tibia bone and to the upper third of the fibula bone on top. Performing the exercise two to three times per week, progressively increasing the amount of resistance over time, will increase the strength of the involved muscles, helping them to function effectively and potentially preventing injuries.

Note, that this movement can be done using the Smith machine, bodyweight, dumbbells, and even “donkey” calf raise machine (similar effect due to the knee being straight). While injury can occur at most joints in the body, the knees, hips, and even ankles are often injury prone areas for most strength, fitness, and power athletes. Can Barefoot Training Boost Lower Body Performance? Calf raises target the muscles on the back of your lower legs. The standing calf raise targets the calf muscle, specifically the gastrocnemius. While calf raises might not make you an elite sprinter, they may help you add muscular endurance and power that can translate to a few extra seconds or milliseconds shaved off your sprint times. Strong calves enable us to produce force harding into the floor, which can create a more stable base of support for the primary muscle of the legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes) to extend the knees and hips. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. As this is the biggest and main muscle in the calf, it will be worked pretty much no matter how you do them. The peroneus fibularis brevis attaches to the bottom third and outside half of the fibula bone on top and to the outside of your foot on the bottom. Take a look at the below lower body accessory exercises to maximize strength and fitness! He has professional experience as a college baseball coach and weight-training instructor. Copyright 2014-2019 by Postema Performance. Calf training is something rarely discussed by strength, power, and fitness athletes and coaches.

When we look at certain issues in gait and/or hip/knee issues, the calves (and the effect they have on supporting ankle stability and plantarflexion), can play a significant role in creating stability that may otherwise be lacking (flat feet), etc).

The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse You begin by sitting on the bench pad with good posture and a strong core.

Roy Flores and Matthews Devens, Assistant Athletic Trainers for New York University Athletics. Related: 5 Best Standing or Seated Calf Raise Alternatives. The muscles are worked very similarly whether you are doing the seated or standing version. Below are four (3) benefits of performing standing calf raises for strength, power, and fitness athletes. Heel or calf raises, either seated or standing, are a common lower body exercise and a good finisher to a complete leg workout. The tibialis posterior is located “in the deep posterior compartment of the leg. Muscles directly worked – gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior. That said, may athletes and coaches make the case that they can get ample calf training from plyometrics, glute ham raises, and even traditional pulling and squatting movements.

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