Don't forget about those calves! A big mistake too often seen in guys who do leg exercises in the gym is completely neglecting their calf muscles.
While the calves do tend to be resistant to muscle size growth, with sufficient training, you can get them responding.
While I only do one main calf exercise in my workout routine, I’m able to get three great variations with that single exercise, ensuring I still give my calves a good workout.
Donkey calf raises are an excellent option for this smaller lower body muscle group because they hit the calves from all angles and work both the gastroc and soleus.
- 1Get under the shoulder pads of the calf raise machine
- 2Step on the edge of the platform with your toes
- 3Let the heels go down slowly, stretching the calves
- 4Push up through the toes, contracting the calves
- 5Hold peak flexion up top and go back down slowly
- 6Repeat the movement pattern
The key with your calf muscles is plenty of variety and enough volume.
Don't be afraid of multiple sets here - they can handle it.
When doing this exercise, you’ll want to do 7-10 reps with the feet placed in a forward, parallel position, 7-10 with the feet turned out and then a 7-10 reps with the feet turned in as well.
Or, if you prefer, just do a time under tension set of 30 seconds for each position, resting briefly between sets.
What’s great about this exercise is that it allows you to hang your feet below parallel, which is going to extend your range of motion and work the calves to a much greater degree.
Make sure that you use that range of motion, rather than cutting it short as some people do.