Give Reverse Hack Squat Calf Raises a try next time you are hitting your calves!
Calf size is determined by genetically structured anatomy but that is no excuse to not train them hard, slap new mass onto them and boost better lower leg development.
Main muscle group worked: Calves
Execution of move:
- Step one: Position yourself in the hack squat machine with the appropriate weight you would like to use. Plant your feet firmly on the pressing surface with your chest on the back pad of the machine and your shoulders under the shoulder pads. You can also use a block to stand on for extra range of motion.
- Step two: Push up and release the safety after taking the weight off the rack. Start raising your heels and focus on pushing and contracting your calves. Keep your back as straight as possible and your chest against the padding throughout the set.
- Step three: When you reach the top of the movement flex your calf muscles for one to two seconds before slowly returning to the original position. Repeat until failure. When you have failed perform shorter, faster repetitions.
- You can perform this movement with your feet flat on the hack squat machine pressing surface or by using a sturdy wooden block resting on the pressing surface. The latter allows for a greater range of motion.
- Try to rise up as high as possible before you flex your calves.
- Each rep should be performed in a slow and controlled manner with a full range of motion. Do partial reps only after you have failed on your regular reps.
- Calves are powerful and stubborn – they hold your bodyweight the whole day – so get a maximum range of motion on each rep you perform.
- Hold each stretch (the low point) for one second and each contraction at the top (as high on your toes as you are able to go) for two seconds.
- Calves, like any other body part, eventually adapt to a certain number of reps, so shoot for high and low reps by mixing up your workloads. Perform high-rep sets of 20-50 with a lighter load, some medium rep sets of 12-15 with moderate weight and some heavier sets of 8-10 reps.
- Stretch your calves between sets and immediately after training them to increase mobility and boost the pump further.