Eccentric calf raises are an excellent workout regimen for athletes looking to boost their sports power.
The exercise strengthens your calf without exposing it to injury. Eccentric workout is significant in training exercises focusing on boosting strength.
It focuses on two types of muscles: those that contract as they lengthen and those that contract as they shorten.
This is also when the muscle’s ability to generate force is at its peak. According to studies, there is low oxygen consumption and more power generation with eccentric exercise.
This workout has less energy expenditure than active shortening of the muscle or concentric strengthening.
A traditional bicep curl would be an example of concentric strengthening. But, the eccentric component would occur when the arm is lowered into a straightened position.
Essentially, when the bicep muscle lengthens – the eccentric nature comes in.
This exercise does not require sophisticated equipment to perform. A basic step box or a staircase is enough to get things going well.
You could also increase the challenge by using a dumbbell.
These are the steps to do eccentric calf raises.
- Put your heels over the edge of a step with your toes on the ball of your feet.
- Both of your feet should be pointed straight in front.
- Take a step backwards and elevate your heels as high as you can by standing on the balls of your feet.
- Lift your free foot, bending your knee heel to glutes to move it out of the way as you shift your weight to the other foot.
- Keep your heel on the step and slowly lower it until it comes below the step.
- Take your time and lower your foot slowly, about five seconds at a time.
- Replenish the exercise by stepping back with your free foot to the step and then rising onto the balls of your feet.
- After completing all the repetitions on one foot, change to the other foot.
WHAT MUSCLES DO ECCENTRIC CALF RAISES WORK?
You target two muscles when getting down on it. They are gastrocnemius muscle and soleus muscle.
This muscle is what gives the calf a circular shape. It is the primary calf muscle that controls the flexion of the knee and foot.
Two heads linked to the femur carry it to the Achilles tendon.
The gastrocnemius muscle aids your running and walking.
Soleus takes on the role of skeletal muscle in movement. And it is a robust plantar flexor and plays a vital role in running, walking, and dancing, together with other calf muscles.
Secondly, it serves as a critical postural muscle during stance to prevent the body from sagging forward at the ankle.
ECCENTRIC CALF RAISES EXTENSION BENEFITS?
There are a lot of benefits you get from the eccentric calf raises. Here they are.
AIDS IN BODY MOVEMENT
Training your calves is essential because they aid in movement. They help you jump, run, walk, jog, lift weights, among other body movements.
IMPROVE SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Eccentric strength builds muscular power giving athletes the forward thrust. They maintain the rise and stamina throughout, giving you the explosiveness needed.
Calf training ensures you get more endurance, explosiveness and strength. This increases the explosive power of these muscles.
PROMOTE ANKLE STABILITY
You can attain whole body balance and ankle stability through calf raises. The balance and strengthen muscles around the ankle.
In case of an ankle injury, it heals faster. Moreover, it prevents injury to the ankle when done correctly.
EASES POWER EXERCISES
With muscular calves, you can perform plyometric, and power exercises more effectively since the calves absorb much of the initial force of landing.
STRONGER ACHILLES TENDON
The proper form gives you a stronger Achilles Tendon since they strengthen muscles around it.
ALTERNATIVES TO ECCENTRIC CALF RAISES?
There are several variations to this exercise that you can perform.
SEATED CALF RAISES
This is a beautiful alternative for those who struggle to maintain their balance while standing.
Sitting calf lift, however, work the soleus muscles only. Here is how to do it.
- Take a seat with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight.
- Using the balls of your feet, elevate the heels off the ground while squeezing them firmly.
- You can either do one calf raise at a time or both at once.
SINGLE-LEG CALF RAISE
Doing calf raises on one leg can boost the intensity and build even more muscle in your calf. This is how you do it.
- Stand on one leg near a wall with the other leg bent behind you for balance,
- Keep your back straight.
- Ensure that the ankle, knee, and hip of the leg you are exercising are all in vertical alignment to protect the joints from injury.
- Your body rises higher if you press down on the ball of your foot.
- Avoid swaying forward or backwards by tightening your abdominal muscles.
DOUBLE-LEG CALF RAISE
The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles strengthen tone for using weight as resistance in a double-leg raise calf.
- Begin by balancing yourself against a wall
- To keep your joints safe, keep your feet hip-width apart and align your ankle, knee, and hip joints.
- Raise your torso by pressing into the balls of your feet and extending your arms overhead.
- Instead of twisting your body forward or backwards, keep your abdominal muscles drawn in as you move straight upward.
ECCENTRIC CALF RAISES MISTAKES TO AVOID
Common mistakes to avoid when doing the eccentric calf raises include:
You can avoid muscle cramping by stretching before exercise. Stretching decreases flexibility; therefore, stretch for at least 10 minutes before the calf raises.
Moderate movement is the key to reaping all the benefits of this exercise. Lower and raise the heel in average tempo.
TOO MUCH FORWARD-LEANING
Leaning forward too much brings uneven body weight, which affects the output of the exercise.
More reps increase the moves and counter the small range of motion.
Eccentric calf raises are a good strength exercise though somewhat undervalued. Nevertheless, they give you various benefits, not to mention explosive athletic power.