High Calf And Low Calf

high calf low

I read Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff about the high calf and low calf.

You noticed that there are big differences in the shape of the calves. These morphological variations are due to the adaptations to the climate during the first human migrations. It was during the first human migrations.

High calf

It’s common to see African black people with long legs, flat foot, and a long calcaneus. This bone structure of the leg and foot provide a powerful extension of feet to walk. It’s an excellent lever in the ankle and a short calf, thin and high with a long tendon.

Low

It’s common to see Nordic people with short legs with a plantar arch of the foot and a short calcaneus. This bone structure of the leg and foot requires a massive and uneconomic effort to walk. It’s a long calf to help to do an extension of feet to walk.

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high calf low anatomy

This type of massive and long calf is actually an adaptation to cold climates to keep body heat. This prevents legs from cooling too much during the freezing cold. In the past, when a leg froze it was necessary to amputate it. These massive and long calves are aesthetic in bodybuilding competitions. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for running and more vulnerable to muscle tears.

Long calves require a careful warm-up. It’s important to do stretching exercises before and after a calves workout

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-Steph

Seated Barbell Calf Raises

seated barbell calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

seated barbell calf raises

Sitting on a bench with a step under your forefeet. The barbell placed on the bottom of your thighs.

  • Do an extension of your feet

This exercise works mainly soleus. This muscle is part of the triceps surae and inserted above the knee’s joint, on tibia and fibula. It attached below to the calcaneus by the Achilles tendon. This muscle has the function of extending the ankles. The difference with the seated calf raises machine is that you can’t work with heavyweights. To have better results, it’s advisable to work with sets of 15 to 20 reps minimum.

Attention

If you have pain on thigh because of the barbell, you can use a towel or barbell pad.

Variant

You can do this exercise with the barbell without weights (the Olympic barbell weighs 20kg/44lbs) on a bench. In this case, it’s necessary to do sets with a lot of reps until the burning sensation,

triceps soleus muscles

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Seated Calf Raises

seated calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the machine with the bottom of your thighs under the pads. Your forefoot on the step with your ankles in passive flexion :

  • Do an extension of your feet

This exercise mainly works soleus (this muscle named like that because it looks like flat fish, the sole). This muscle inserted above the knee joint, on the tibia and fibula. And it’s also attached to the calcaneus by the Achilles tendon. The soleus has the function of extending the ankles.

muscle triceps surae

The flexed position of the knees relax gastrocnemius who are attached above the knee joints and below the Achilles tendon. In this position, they participate weakly in the extension of the feet.

muscle involve extension foot triceps surae
Although this is not their main function, these muscles are involved in the extension of the foot.

Variant

seated barbell calf raises

It’s possible to do this movement sitting on a bench with a step under your feet and a barbell on the bottom of your thighs. Use a towel or a barbell pad to have less pain on your thighs while performing the exercise.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Donkey Calf Raises

donkey calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Your feet on the step in passive flexion with yor legs stretched. Your torso inclined and your forearms are on the support. Your pelvis placed under the top pads :

  • Do an extension of your feet or a flexion.

This exercise works triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus) and particularly gastrocnemius.

one leg raises anatomy

insertions muscle triceps surae

Variant

donkey calf raises partner

This movement can be done with a step under your feet, your forearms on a support and a person stradding your pelvis.

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-Steph

One Leg Toe Raises

one leg raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

one leg raises

Standing on one leg with your forefeet on a step. One hand holds a dumbbell and the other is placed on a support to have a better balance :

  • Do an extension of the foot keeping your knee joint in extension of slightly bent.

This exercise works triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus). It’s important to do each repetition with full flexion of the feet to really stretch the triceps surae. Only high set until the burning sensation give good results.

one leg raises anatomy

Note

For some people, triceps surae don’t gain volume bit it is gaining strength. Low calves (gastrocnemius and soleus go very down) will easily gain volume. High calves will gain a little volume.

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-Steph

Standing Calf Raise Machine

standing calf raise machine

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your back straight and your shoulders under the pads. The front of your feet on the step with your ankles in passive flexion :

  • Do an extension of your feet with of your knees joints in extension.

This exercise works the triceps surae composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus. It’s really important to do each repetition with a full flexion to really stretch the muscles.

muscle triceps surae

insertions muscle triceps surae

In theory, it’s possible to locate the work on gastrocnemius medial (toes outward) or gastrocnemius lateral (toes inward) but, in reality it’s very difficult. However, you can easily shift the emphasis from the gastronemius to the soleus by flexing your knees to relax the gastrocnemius.

gastrocnemius medial lateral

Variant

standing barbell calf raise

It’s possible to do this movement with the Smith machine and a step under your feet.

Note

Triceps surae is a very powerful muscle that is used to lifting your bodyweight all day. It’s for this reason why it’s important to use heavyweights to work it.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Standing Calf Raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with the front of your feet on a step. Put your hand on a wall or a support to have more stability :

  • Slowly flex your feet to stretch your calves.

  • Extend your feet with your knees extended or slightly bent.

It’s a movement to be done slowly and with high reps until the burning sensation.

This exercise has an action of stretching and muscle contraction. It’s for this reason that this exercice can be used as a warm up before a calf exercise with heavyweights, to avoid injuries, or at the end of the session to feel the pump.

This exercise works triceps surae composed of 2 gastrocnemus and soleus and also flexor hallucis longus, tibialis posterior and flexor digitorum longus.

Note

This movement is excellent for stretching the muscles of the plantar surface of the feet like flexor digitorum brevis and quadratus plantae and soften plantar faschiitis.

Share this article if you think if can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph