Simple (but SO Effective) Standing Raises
Who said you needed a big scary machine to raise the bar on your calf strength? Standing calf raises have been the go-to training mechanism forever because they WORK. If you must have a fitness accessory to make it feel more "you," by all means, pick up a pair of hand weights, a kettle bell, or a weighted bar to add resistance to these movements.
- Stand with your feet directly under your hips, roll your shoulders back and tuck your booty under to ensure a straight and strong back. If you are holding weights, make sure they are level and you have a confident but relaxed grip.
- With control, lift up onto the top of the ball of your foot, gripping through your shoes with your toes to ensure balance and stability.
- Lower with the same control, and repeat the lifts for 15 total reps.
- Turn your toes in slightly to affect a pigeon footed stance and repeat the calf raises for 15 reps, keeping a microbend in your knee to protect the joint.
- Turn your toes out slightly to affect a duck footed stance and lift and lower for 15 reps.
- Repeat this sequence up to 3 times, center, pigeon, and duck style (or until fatigued).
To achieve muscular change, the muscle needs to be challenged, so be ready to add reps or weight until you experience a burning sensation in the back part of your lower leg. If you need help with balance, a light hand on a chair, wall, or other stable object is a good way to maintain your form without impacting your results.