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Standing Calf Raises  Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Single-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Calves

Standing Calf Raises work the calf muscles and is one of the most popular variations of the exercise. While other options including the seated and leg press calf raise exist, the Standing Calf Raise develops the overall mass of the area, particularly the upper middle area of the calf muscle.

Standing Calf Raises Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Position yourself with your toes on the edge of the Standing Calf Raise Machine so that your heels are hanging off the edge.
  • Anchor your shoulders under the pads of the machine, exhale and drive the weight up by shifting weight to your toes as if you are stretching up to reach something. Pause.
  • Inhale and lower the weight to the point just before the weight touches the weight stack by bringing your heel back down and keeping your knees extended and stiff.
  • Repeat for the desired rep range.

Standing Calf Raises Tips & Safety

  • Ensure that the block on which you stand is high enough so that a full stretch is achieved when your heels are lowered.
  • Keep you knees stiff and your back straight. By doing this more effort is focussed on the lower calf (soleus) rather than simply the upper calf (gastrocnemius).
  • The weight should be heavy enough to sufficiently strain the calf muscles but not too heavy as to prevent you from reaching a full squeeze and stretch at the top and bottom of the Calf Raise, respectively.
  • When you are unable to complete any more reps, finish off the set with some partial movements in order to increase the intensity of the exercise.

Standing Calf Raises Training Alternatives

  • Partial reps can be completed at the end for added intensity.
  • Try One-Leg Calf Raises to work each calf in isolation in order to maintain symmetry between both calves.
  • A combination of standing and sitting calf raise can be beneficial to your training.
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