My Calf Raises Block





My Calf Raises Block

The photograph below show some blocks of wood that I screwed together to make my calf raises block. I included my running shoes in the photograph, crudely arranged to show the rough range of motion possible.

I always perform single leg calf raises - that is one leg at a time. The reasons for this are that I don't need a dedicated calf raises machine (expensive) and because I am lifting ALL of my body weight I only need 60lb (30kg) extra weight held in a dumbbell or on a dip belt. Lifting my body weight of 220lbs (100kg) and 60lbs extra on one leg, a total of 280lbs on one leg or if I used a calf machine (with NO leverage advantage) using both calves together I would have to lift 560lbs, which would mean adding 340lbs (154kg) of weight on the calf machine.
Photograph of my calf raises block and running shoes

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not do the calf raises with a heavy barbell over your shoulders IF your heels touch the floor. If you do this and say towards the end of a set you lower a bit too rapidly the sudden stop when your heels touch the floor will mean that heavy barbell (which has momentum) will try to stop quickly and in doing so will compress your spine. There is a 'g' (G-force) effect here that magnifies the weight of the bar, and this depends on how soft your gym shoes are, the rate of decent of the bar and how 'flexible' the bar is. Best to AVOID this, as the 'g' factor can be upwards of 2 (meaning the bar momentarily weighs twice the weight on it).


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