Exercise of the Week: Calf Raise

August 25, 2010

Although a simple exercise, Calf Raises are a staple in any lower-body training program—for good reason. The calf and other lower leg and ankle muscles generate speed when running or skating and are critical for ankle stability. These muscles are strengthened when you flex your foot away from the shin (plantarflexion) with added weight.

Despite its benefits, the Calf Raise rarely reaches its full potential, because often only the ankle joint is used. Try to imagine a time in any sport when an athlete stands in one place and rises onto his tiptoes. This almost never occurs, because athletic movements are multi-jointed.

To apply the Calf Raise more directly to athletic performance, University of Minnesota strength coach Cal Deitz has Golden Gopher hockey players perform the exercise along with a hip and knee bend. This places the athlete in a sport-specific position and engages other joints used when skating or running. The calf is then strengthened in a position actually experienced in sports, which helps translate to improved performance in the rink or on the field.

  • Assume position on Calf Raise machine with slight bend at hips and knees
  • Drive up onto toes, fully extending hips and knees
  • Descend in a controlled manner; repeat for specified reps

Reps/Sets: 3-4x10-15

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,297,638
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,203,239
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,686

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 66,647
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 5,931
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 124,090
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,506
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,206
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,488
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,633
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout