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Reach PT: Calves

Back To The Reach PT Hub.

As we describe in the section about developing abs, there are some exercises that you can do at home, to save using valuable studio time – calves are one of them.

There are a few considerations when thinking about training calves.

Hypertrophy

If you want to grow your calves then, like any other muscle, progressive overload is important. Starting once a week, up to a maximum of three times a week, the aim is to develop your calves by progressively overloading the muscle. You can do this in a number of ways:

– Increase the number of reps
– Increase the number of sets
– Decrease the rest time
– Increase the load

Strengthening

Even if you’re not bothered about toning or growing your calves, it pays to have healthy, strong, injury-free calves. If this is the case then a few sets once a week will suffice.

Fitness

There are lots of exercises that indirectly involve the calves – examples of this are skipping, running, burpees. It can be very annoying if your calves are the things that let you down because they are not used to being trained, so two or three sets once a week will help to keep them fit, healthy and prepared for whatever training may require them.

If you’ve ever done calf raises then you’ll know that calf DOMS can be quite bad, so it pays to do them regularly (minimum once a week).

We recommend starting with three sets of calf raises once a week, building up to 5 sets of single-leg calf raises three times a week.

How To Perform Calf Raises

Like most hypertrophy exercises, slow and steady is the way to go. You can use a little bit more momentum on the way up and more control on the way down. As always, make sure you warm up first.

See the videos below for a demonstration of unilateral and bilateral calf raises.

Home Training : Calf Raises

Level 0. Both legs.
3 sets of 60 seconds work / 60 seconds rest. Perform this workout on a flat surface. Once this becomes easy, progress to Level 1, using a step, curb or similar as demonstrated in the videos below.

Level 1. Both legs.
3 sets of 60 seconds work / 60 seconds rest.

Level 2. Both legs.
3 sets of 60 seconds work / 30 seconds rest.

Level 3. Both legs.
5 sets of 60 seconds work / 30 seconds rest.

Level 4. Single leg.
3 sets of 30 seconds work R / 30 seconds work L.

Level 4. Single leg.
3 sets of 60 seconds work R / 60 seconds work L.

Level 5. Single leg.
5 sets of 60 seconds work R / 60 seconds work L.

If you progress to Level 5 and find that too easy then speak to a coach about ways to increase the resistance.