One often overlooked muscle group in many people’s program plan is the calves. Since this muscle is so small and doesn’t have a large influence on how you look, for most, it’s imply an afterthought – if that.
The calves go neglected and while this may not influence the way you look all that much because the chances of you developing large muscular calves are slim to none unless you’re genetically programmed with larger calve muscles, you still should be doing them to help maximize the performance in other exercises you do.
Remember that the calves will be called into play with every standing exercise executed – even walking – so it’s important that they’re strong.
Let’s go over one particular lifting technique that will help assist you with their strength development.
The technique that we’re talking about is the lift, pause, half rep, pause, full rep technique. It sounds intricate but it’s really not.
Basically, you’re going to perform one full rep of the calf raise, pause at the top of the movement for added tension, and then go forward and complete one half rep. Once you’re halfway down, try and pause very briefly for one more second and then reverse directions and go all the way back up once again.
Once you’re there, then lower all the way and repeat the process over again.
Adding this half rep in there is going to place far more total tension on the calves and will work the muscle throughout the weaker area of the range of motion.
Some people will also perform this technique on the lower half of the exercise if that’s where they feel like they are weakest.
Either way you want to do it works, so think about where you feel you’re at your weakest as you go about the calf raise exercise.
Adding This To Your Program
To add this to your program, simply do it while standing off a step or platform. It’s best whenever you’re performing calf raises that you can go beyond the floor if at all possible – so this means hanging the heels off a ledge.
By doing so, you increase the total range of motion that you must travel as you perform the raise, which is going to make every single muscle fiber in the calves work very intensely.
If you want to maximize your calf development, that extended range of motion will do it.
Advancing The Technique
Now, if you find that you can easily complete this technique without trouble, then consider doing it on one leg instead. Doing it on the single leg is going to really bump up the intensity since now not only do you have only one leg to support the weight, but even more important, you also have to worry about balance as well.
So there you have the main factors to remember as you go about your calf training. If you want to get stronger calves, this is a must-use technique in your workout plan.