Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Tip for Doing Calf Raises

I've been someone with skinny calves almost my entire life. I also tend to have really stiff Achilles tendons. But since I started doing calf raises, they feel much better. 

Recently, a trainer taught me a game-changer. Next time you do calf raises, try holding the bottom portion for 4 seconds, then holding the top portion for 4 seconds. This means no more bouncing up and down (like I used to do). Don't worry about the number of reps. Just do them until you need a break. For most of my sessions, I do 3-5 sets. This isn't to say that you can't do fewer or more sets. This is just a rule of thumb! Be sure to center the movement by squeezing at the bottom and the top. This has already worked wonders for me. I simply place a couple of plates on the floor of a Smith machine, with toes on the plate, and then do this pausing technique.

The purpose is to strengthen your calf muscles, which play a central role in ankle flexion and therefore in allowing you to propel forward when running, walking, or hiking. Remember: calf raises should be SLOW and CONTROLLED. 

By the way, I totally get it if you do not want or need these workout tutorials. Feel free to skip them as needed!

Happy Valentine's Day!