How to Do Standing Barbell Calf Raise Properly

The standing barbell calf raise, a variation of the standing calf raise, is an isolation exercise that targets the calf muscles and strengthens the lower leg.

It is a simple workout that requires a barbell only. There is another variation that can require a Smith machine.

It possesses several benefits and is appropriate for trainers within all age groups. It does not involve complicated movement and is easy to do and demonstrate. Also, the trainer can perform it with minimal supervision.

It is also known as barbell standing calf raise or barbell calf raise.

Targeted muscles: Gastrocnemius and Soleus.

Exercise type: Strength.

Exercise mechanics: Isolation.

Difficulty level: Beginner.

Required Equipment: Barbell, Smith Machine.

STEPS;

For safety purposes, perform this exercise inside a squat rack.

  • Set the bar on a rack that is tall enough. This should allow you to get under the weights and lift them on the back of your shoulders. Ensure to bend your neck slightly forward.
  • Support the bar on your shoulders by holding it with both arms. Lift it off the rack by strengthening your torso and pushing your legs upwards.
  • Step away from the rack then position yourself on a flat surface. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart to increase your stability. Point your toes out slightly and ensure your head is up at all times. Bend your knees slightly.
  • Raise your heels as high as you can. Do this by extending your ankles and flexing your calves. Keep your knees stationary at all times. When at the top of the movement, hold the position for a few seconds. This will increase tension in your calf.
  • Begin the descent with a controlled movement. Lower your heels until they come in contact with the ground.
  • Repeat the rep as many times as you can.

MUSCLES WORKED BY STANDING BARBELL CALF RAISE

The standing barbell calf raise exercise targets the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. These muscles form the calf and connect to the Achilles tendons. The exercise will activate the soleus when you bend your knee. It will therefore contribute to your lower leg strength.

BENEFITS OF THE STANDING BARBELL CALF RAISE

IT WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR CALF MUSCLES

The standing barbell calf raise will strengthen your calf muscles by activating the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. It will improve the strength of your ankles, and improve your stability. Also, it will help you prevent injuries to your calves while improving your athletic performance.

IT WILL INCREASE THE SIZE OF YOUR CALVES

The standing calf raise exercise will grow your calves. The movement, which involves standing on your toes and tensing the calves, will grow them over a period.

The weight of the barbell will add to the difficulty of the exercise, making it more effective in growing your muscles. Eventually, it will give you a more robust lower leg.

IT IS A VERSATILE EXERCISE

The standing barbell calf raise is a versatile exercise that can be performed with one leg at a time, both legs, or alternating legs. Therefore, it will give you a variety to choose from.

You can opt to work both legs, which is the easiest option, or work one leg at a time – the most difficult option. Depending on your strength and fitness needs, either option will help you achieve the results you desire.

ALTERNATIVE OF STANDING BARBELL CALF RAISE

JUMP ROPE CALVES

Jump rope calves are a suitable alternative to the standing barbell calf raise. Like the former, it focuses on the calf muscles and will give you larger and stronger lower legs.

It is also effective for burning excess lower leg fat, making it more versatile than the standing barbell calf raise. It is easy to do and requires a jump rope only.

Also, it is an appropriate exercise for people across all age groups.

STEPS;

  • Wear comfortable shoes with good support to provide cushion during the jump
  • Warm-up slightly. You can perform a walk, run or jog. Also, you can swing your arms from side to side
  • Hold the tips of the jump rope with both arms. Twirl it above your head and behind you. Jump to allow the rope to pass underneath your feet. Ensure to land on as much of your feet as possible. Also, bend your knees during the workout.
  • You can add a variety to the exercise by initiating forward to backward and side to side jumping.
  • Jump for 1 minute then take a rest.
  • Complete 15 reps of 1-minute jumps.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING STANDING BARBELL CALF RAISE

GOING TOO FAST

It is common for people to speed up their tempo when performing the standing barbell calf raise. This comes with many disadvantages and is ineffective for muscles growth.

It would be best if you slow down your raises because it will increase your strength and improve the effectiveness of the workout. Also, it will improve your aesthetics.

PERFORMING FEW REPS

Most beginners tend to perform few reps, in turn missing out on the benefits of the exercise. Since it is an isolation exercise and employs a small range of motion, performing a high number of reps would increase its effectiveness.

Perform many reps if you want maximum benefits from the standing barbell calf raise. Use the appropriate amount of weight to prevent getting you from tiring quickly.

FOLDING FORWARD

Folding forward is a common mistake associated with the standing barbell calf raise exercise. It might make you lose your balance as it will shift the weight of the barbell forward. Eventually, it can cause you immense back pain. Ensure you maintain an upright posture with your chest up while performing this workout. Avoid leaning forward.

STARTING THE WORKOUT WITHOUT STRETCHING

Most people prefer to begin the exercise without stretching. They often overlook the benefits of stretching before beginning the calf raise.

Stretching will prevent you from cramping and will increase your flexibility. It would be best if you spend a few minutes to warm up before starting the standing barbell calf raise exercise.

CONCLUSION

The standing barbell calf raise is an effective exercise for your lower leg muscles. It is easy to perform and has several benefits, ranging from aesthetics to strength.

It is appropriate for everyone and will not break your bank. Its alternatives, such as the jump rope, can add variety to it to prevent over-reliance on one exercise.

If you are after stronger and larger lower legs, then the standing barbell calf raise is the exercise you are looking for.

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