I don’t know anything about you, but I often forget to train my legs. So far, they weren’t something I was very concerned about with the squats, lunges, and deadlifts. However, a recent conversation with a running coach forced me to stop and think about calf strength – calf muscles absorb impact when running or walking and propel you forward. It’s an essential ingredient when it comes to lowering body strength, so why neglect it?
Never shy about a challenge, I decided to add 100 lbs a day to my routine for a week to see what happened. As a marathon runner, my schedule includes about five runs per week, plus two sessions of strength training, and a good Pilates or yoga class.
Before getting into calf raise exercises, it is important to note that what works for me may not work for you and your body, and if you are a complete beginner or are returning to exercise after an injury, it is a good idea to check with a personal trainer to ensure you are in the right form.
Read on to find out what happened when I lifted 100 calves a day for a week. Probably? Check what happened when you did 100 dead insects a day for a weekAnd the 30 sit-ups per day for 30 daysand when I’ve added flutter kicks to my morning routine.
How to raise a calf
Let’s start with how to get the technique right. To perform the calf raise, start with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and your torso engaged throughout the movement (here How to engage your core muscles). Stand on tiptoes slowly, keeping your legs straight, without locking your knee joint. Pause at the top, then lower your back to the floor, returning to the starting position.
The benefits of calf raise exercises are that they hit the calf muscles. The calf has two main muscles – the sole, which is the deep calf muscle that starts just below your knee and runs down the shin, and connects to the Achilles tendon above the heel, and the calf muscle, which is the outermost muscle that makes up the block. from your calf. Strengthening the calf muscles is important when it comes to injury prevention, as stretching of the calf muscles is a common injury among athletes. When the sole is weak, for example, studies (Opens in a new tab)showed that the calf muscle can be strained and torn more easily.
I Raised 100 Calves a Day for a Week – Here’s What Happened
On the first day of this challenge, I started with regular calf raises. You choose four sets of 25 lifts, with a 30-second rest between each set. I did my hikes after running, without shoes on, and went really slowly to focus on really getting in shape. My challenge was to think of my pose – keeping your back straight and engaging your abs is essential in this exercise.
On the second day, I added calf raises to my strength-training routine—as it was a leg day, after all. This time, I added a few weights to the mix to increase the prep a bit. I grabbed a set of 6kg weights, and again, I did four sets of 25 duck raises. This definitely increased the challenge, and after the first 25 lifts, I could feel my calf muscles working. Again, I had to focus on slowing down – while doing the exercise quickly can be tempting, it makes it a lot less effective.
On the third day, I chose to increase the range of motion of the calf raise by performing it in a stride. Again, I finish my run and stand at the bottom of the stairs to do a calf raise – this allows your heels to drop further, increasing the intensity. With just the balls of my feet on the stairs, I definitely felt a greater stretch under my legs as I moved through the reps.
On day four, you guessed it, I added weights to my calf raise at the bottom of the stairs. Sure enough, this felt a little lost, because I don’t live in a huge house with a wide open staircase, and in the future, I’ll be doing a high leg raise on a step in the gym. However, I finished them, lived to tell the tale, and did not fall off the stairs or hit the dumbbells in the wall. result.
By day five, my leg felt it, so I went back to my usual calf raises. It is definitely not recommended to do massive reps in the same workout day in and day out (this is why the experts tell you You should not do the squat challenge) But for the sake of the press I followed.
On the sixth day, I decided again to mix things up again, this time choosing to do the calf raise on the leg press machine at the gym. To do this, I put the balls of my feet on the platform and my legs outstretched, pressed against the tips of my toes, as I do in a standing calf raise. Doing a calf press with a leg press is a good way to increase the load, without worrying about your balance.
Finally, the seventh day. So far, I was tired of the calf raise exercises, but I wanted to try another challenge – the one calf raise. I haven’t added these to my workouts since I had my soles years ago, and I hate them now just as much as I did back then. As its name suggests, to do a one leg raise, stand on one leg, then raise it on the ball of one foot. I chose to do 100 on each leg but found that I needed to do them close to the wall, as I was definitely more balanced on my right leg (I’m left-handed).
So, what did you learn after 800 duck exercises? I need to do more calf raises. Of course, I won’t see huge gains in a week – the human body doesn’t work that way, but I can definitely see how adding calf exercises to my workouts can help me run faster and (hopefully) avoid the dip. Leg issues that might stop me from the starting line.