Health and Beauty

Exercise to strengthen your calves

Seated leg extensions are very effective in isolating and strengthening the leg.

These muscles can be a stubborn muscle group for many exercisers, so it is important to vary the working angles when lifting the calf muscle. It may also be beneficial to train calves at a high training pace.

Seated calf extensions can be incorporated into leg or full-body exercises.

Muscles used during leg extension while sitting on the machine.
Illustrative credit © Aliaksandr Makatserchyk
  1. Sit on the machine and place the soles of your feet on the platform with your toes pointing forward. Your heel will naturally fall back. Place your lower quadrants under the kneeling block and grab the handles above with your hands.
  2. Extend your ankles and release the safety bar.
  3. Lower the heels, dorsiflexing the ankles, until the leg is fully extended.
  4. Straighten your ankles and exhale while bending your legs.
  5. Repeat this movement for the specified number of repetitions.

Training tips

  • Do slow, controlled repetitions. Reduce momentum and stop at the top to confirm the contraction.
  • To maximize muscle growth of the leg muscles, rotate the toes in and out to emphasize the effort on different muscle fibers.
  • Reduce your heel drop if you feel any stretch in the sole of your foot during the exercise.

Exercise to strengthen your calves

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