Leg press calf raise is a great lower-body strength training exercise that targets the calves. The exercise is a variation of the machine calf raises workout. Leg press calf raises are an intensive workout that is meant to isolate the calves and build up strength and stability.
Calf muscles are very powerful muscles that power your legs, to build them, we have to train religiously. The muscles can be a little stubborn, however, consistent training will ensure that continuous growth is achieved.
Note: Before performing the workout, it’s important that you load up the leg press with a weight that you can manage especially If you are a rookie. This ensures that you properly perform the workout for the first time with very little strain on your legs, thighs, or upper body.
Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Do some light stretches to warm up your body. Sit down on a leg press machine. Place your legs on the plates sled assuming the leg press position. Extend your legs and press the plate up.
- Step 2: Position your heels at the bottom sled such that they are pressing against the rack with your heels hanging free.
- Step 3: Press up and flex up your toes and then slowly bring your toes back towards your body, lowering the weight back to the starting position.
- Step 4: Repeat for at least 8-10 reps for 2-3 sets. Perform the leg presses slowly for maximum benefit.
- Continuously breathe in and out to maintain proper oxygen flow.
- Visit the link to view a simple demo on the workout.
WHAT MUSCLE GROUPS DOES LEG PRESS CALF RAISES WORK?
The exercise targets the following muscle groups.
Leg press calf raises tones the calf muscles and enhances injury prevention by stabilizing the muscles and improving their endurance.
Flexing your feet upward to press the plates a little bit more builds up tension on your calves and consequentially triggers muscle growth as the calves tire up in overcoming the resistance generated while pressing the plates.
The quads are among the strongest and largest muscles in the body. The muscles are responsible for a lot of body physical activities such as running, standing, and walking.
In addition, they keep the kneecap stable and help maintain the appropriate standing posture. Moreover, they enable you to extend the lower leg from the knee level.
Hamstrings are connected by soft tissues called tendons to the bones of the pelvis, knee, and lower leg. They provide the “lift-off” power required to walk, run and even pushing the plates upwards.
The muscles group is tasked to enable the knees to flex and rotate, hip extension, thigh extension, and allowing rotation at the tibia bone. Building the muscles enhances the performance of these activities.
BENEFITS OF LEG PRESS CALF RAISES
The exercise has numerous benefits to the overall lower-body training. They include:
BUILDS STRONGER CALVES.
During the leg presses, the calf muscles are used as stabilizers. The leg presses strengthen and tone the calves.
Strong calves are essential in the performance of quite a number of physical activities such as running, walking, and cycling. Moreover, they contribute to preventing injuries and pulling muscles.
TOTAL LEG DEVELOPMENT
Leg press calf raises are a compound workout that exercises almost every muscle group in the leg. To perform the workout, the power required is generated by different muscle groups present in the legs. This therefore, allows you to engage the entire leg training different muscles. This ensures that you develop your legs wholly build up muscle to make the performance of day-to-day activities easier.
IMPROVES COORDINATION AND BALANCE
The workout builds strength in your legs essentially, enhancing the ability of the muscles to adapt quickly to positional changes. This provides the body with a much more stable base to stand on, run, walk, etc. As such improving the body’s balance, and coordination.
ALTERNATIVES TO LEG PRESS CALF RAISES
There are great alternatives to the exercise, such as:
BARBELL STEP UPS
Barbell step-ups are a functional, multi-joint, and unilateral workout that builds up a lot of power on your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and upper body. The exercise is a great alternative because of its intensity, a good number of muscle groups targeted, and generally great for strength training.
DUMBBELL WALKING LUNGES
Walking lunges can be a bit challenging because of the tension generated by both the walking lunges and the bell. Although the workout requires quite the effort, it increases the mass building benefits through your quads and glutes.
RESISTANCE BAND BROAD JUMPS
Broad jumps are great for developing power and muscles in your lower body.
The addition of resistance bands to the workout takes the exercise a notch higher, making it a little bit challenging. However, if done properly, the gains are in equal measure.
LEG PRESS CALF RAISES MISTAKES TO AVOID
To achieve the maximum effect from the workout then you have to avoid the following:
AVOID USING HEAVY UNMANAGEBLE PLATE WEIGHT
Pressing with heavy weights makes it difficult to perform the workout properly. You will experience a lot of strain in the process and as such, you will end up ripping off your gains.
In addition, your body will overcompensate by using additional power from muscles that aren’t the focus of the workout.
Use a weight you can manage with good focus and form with each rep.
AVOID PUSHING THE PLATE WEIGHTS UPWARDS TOO QUICKLY.
The purpose of the workout is to generate enough tension and resistance on the target muscles to stimulate muscle growth.
Extending your leg too quickly, only means, you are using momentum to stretch out the bands rather than the muscle groups. This essentially reduces the impact of the workout.
AVOID PRESSING HALFWAY
Leg press calf raises essentially target calves to stimulate muscle growth and enhance muscle stability.
If you are extending your legs half way, you will not be able to generate the required tension to generate the needed resistance that activates the muscles.
Be sure, to stretch your legs fully and more so, allow your feet to press the plates a little further. This will ensure that enough tension is generated on the calves.
Leg press calf raises is a simple workout that has significant benefits to your lower body strength training. It is important that you do it properly to maximize stimulation on the target muscles.
Most importantly, focus on the little details that build a healthy workout: taking breaks when you need to, drinking a lot of water to hydrate, and generally looking out for yourself while working out to avoid injury. This will allow you to rip off the maximum gains from your workout sessions.