#5. Failing To Isolate And Fully Contract Your Calves
Regardless of what you’ve read on the internet, completing a full range of motion is a key precursor to significant muscle growth, and there’s literally tons of scientific evidence that support this claim.
We don’t have anything against partial reps when they’re used correctly, but most guys with skinny calves tend to perform partial reps in the midrange of the movement and fail to achieve both a full, hard contraction at the top and a full stretch at the bottom of the rep.
This way of training will bring you the same amount of gains that regularly bouncing the weight would, which is zero! To get maximum benefits, you need to focus on doing the exercises the right way: full contraction, slow negative, full stretch. Keep the tension on the muscle all through the movement. At the top of each rep, get up on the balls of your feet and push as high up as you can while squeezing the muscles as hard as possible, then really stretch the calf at the end of the rep.
#6. Extreme Toe Angles
Having your toes pointing straight ahead will equally target the inner and outer heads of the calves; pointing your toes in will primarily train the outer heads, and pointing your toes out will help you better exhaust the inner heads. That being said, less is more.
You don’t have to point your toes in or out more than an inch to achieve strong emphasis on different heads of the muscle! Anything more than that will place your legs in an akward position that reduces calf activation and cause undue strain on the joints and ligaments, thus increasing your chance of injury.
Now that you’re aware of the major don’ts of calf training, try this highly-effective calf workout!
The Monster Calves Workout
- Standing Calf Raises: 6 x 20-30
– The last two are triple dropsets; use weights that make you fail at 10 reps.
- Seated Calf Raises: 6 x 20
– The last two sets are dropsets; use weights that make you fail at 10 reps.
- Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine: 4 x 30
– To maximally activate the gastrocnemius and soleus, maintain a slight bend at the knees.
Perform this routine twice per week for 3-6 months and watch your calves grow!