Whether you are looking to grow your calves or are wondering what the benefit of calf raises is (beyond just growing muscle), this article will help you!
First, let’s start with the obvious benefit of calf raises.
I look at calf raises as a movement pattern. This is because there is only one way to train the calves, and that is through calf raises.
Since this movement is the only way to target the calf muscles, its primary benefit is for muscle growth of the calves. That’s right, all you skinny calfers have no excuse. Of course, you can build strength in this muscle, but the benefits of building strength are more closely related to foot stability rather than how much force your calf can actually produce to move an external load.
The calf muscles insert on the achilleas tendon. Since this tendon is responsible for much of the movement of our foot, having strong calf muscles and a strong achilleas tendon helps to better foot stability.
So growing muscle, and increasing the strength of our calves is very important for developing foot stability. Of course, we accomplish this through the calf raise.
I would suggest doing the majority of your calf training for hypertrophy in higher rep ranges since the calves tend to respond best to that due to their slow-twitch rate, which is developed from the repetitive, low force job they have of helping with walking, which, of course, is done daily.
However, some heavy training would be beneficial for developing the strength of this muscle. Maybe you can train around 5 reps sometimes, but even a heavy set of 8 would benefit the calf muscles greatly for strength. I say don’t focus too much time on super heavy training for the calves since there aren’t the same strength specific benefits that you would obtain from an exercise like the squat due to the simplicity of training this muscle group.
Free weights would probably be best for strength work, while machine work would probably be best for hypertrophy work. Consider unilateral training to specifically focus on the foot stability component of calf training.
Usually, I try to have 3 benefits during these posts, but this is a very small muscle group with limited functions and not much training variety available, so I will not have you spend more time than needed, haha.
I hope you enjoyed this article and please, if you have any questions, ask away in the comments!
Until Next Time,
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