When you hit the gym to do your resistance training program, which muscle groups hold your focus? If you are like many, chances are your calves get left out of the mix. Many people either overlook their calves: not thinking about them in their workout session or they just bypass them because they are too tired and have other areas to work on.
Your calf muscles support you through each and every step you take, so they are always working. The stronger they are, the less likely you will be to suffer fatigue as you are walking around doing your daily tasks and the more balance and agility you will have.
If you participate in any sports or recreational activities, chances are your calf muscles are playing a vital role in keeping your body upright and moving in the direction you want to go. This said, how can you make the most of your calf training? What needs to be in place to optimize your results?
Let’s look at a few key points to keep in mind about calf workouts…
1. Seated And Standing Calf Extensions. First, note both seated as well as standing calf raises should be carried out as you go about your workout session. They are going to work different parts of your calf muscles so by doing both; you ensure you are getting a full level of stress placed on the muscle. Better overall strength development will result, as well as enhanced overall muscle definition.
2. Multiple Rep Ranges. Next, you should also be varying your rep ranges. Generally speaking, you will want to focus on heavier weights and lower reps when doing seated calf raises, and higher reps and lighter weights when doing standing calf raises.
Your muscles will respond best to this type of training, leading to naturally increased performance. When doing your reps you want them to be slower and controlled when using heavier weights, and when using the lighter weights, focus on short intense contractions, speeding up the rising part of the calf raise to help build explosive power.
3. Half Reps. Finally, take note you can also perform half reps whenever you hit a point of fatigue. Half reps will help bring total exhaustion to the muscles, getting you past any plateaus you may be experiencing.
When doing half reps, you will want to do a few full reps, a couple of half reps, and then continue with a few more full reps to complete the set.
There you have the most important points to remember about calf training. Do this at the end of your leg workout and make sure you are not overlooking your calves. It is an essential part of any well-rounded exercise program.