Calves can be stubborn…I know mine are. However, there ARE tricks you can use to make calf exercises a LOT more effective.
This is one of the BEST ones that I’ve found.
When training calves, for maximum development, it’s critical that you roll up on the BIG TOE side of your foot. The tendency is normally to roll to the outside, where it’s easier. It’s the path of least resistance.
What this trick is going to do is use UPPER BODY action to create a tendency for your body to come up on that big toe knuckle every time, rather than having to concentrate on doing it yourself.
First, load the calf raise machine with a fairly light to moderate weight.
Get under the pads, then come down into the bottom stretch position of the calf raise. HOLD this position for 2 to 3 seconds to eliminate the stretch reflex. The Achilles Tendon is incredibly strong and, if you come right back up, will contribute WAY too much to the movement.
Once you’ve taken the stretch reflex out of the equation, squeeze your hands/arms INWARDS extremely hard, as though doing a “pec deck” type of exercise.
NOW come up into the calf raise using a deliberate action via muscle contraction.
This upper body inwards squeeze (I found, at least) really created “inwards seeking” tension in the lower body as well, forcing me to come up on the big toe knuckle of my feet and deliver a MUCH better contraction to the gastrocnemius.
Come all the way up to the top and hold the contraction, then lower back down under control.
You can release the upper body tension on the way down.
On the next rep, repeat. Hold the stretch, release the stretch reflex, then clench inwards.
Next time you train calves, give this technique a try. I found it to be very effective!
Want some killer bicep training? Watch: “Get Big Arms…Get a Raging Pump in Your Biceps With a Non-Stop Superset of Curls and Chins”