July 3, 2009, Newsletter Issue #384: Calf Raise

Tip of the Week

The Calf Raise exercise sometimes comes up on the workout menu.  Your calf is on the back of your lower leg and is flexed when you stand on your tippy-toes.  Most people will either sit on a machine and flex their calves or stand on a machine with the weight bearing on their shoulders.  In both cases, most people (not all) will put on way too much weight and then use their upper legs without knowing it, causing their calves to relax a little bit and not get as much benefit from the exercise.  Let's look at a different way to do calf work...

Stand up straight in Anatomical Neutral Posture with arms at your sides. When you do a Calf Raise, make sure that you stand on your tippy-toes for at least 2-3 seconds, coming slowly back down to the floor.  If you feel that is too easy, grab some weights.  Make sure to keep your shoulders back during the exercise to not stress the muscles in your neck.  Just today I was doing Calf Raises holding 60 lbs. in each hand.  Not only do you get a nice calf workout, but also your arms (especially forearms) get a great workout!  That way you are not just focusing on one part of your body, but combining muscle groups and exercises to get more of a total body workout.

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