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  1. #1
    Registered User edowork's Avatar
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    Unhappy Desperately trying to rebuild atrophied calves.

    Hi there!
    I just joined the Bodybuilding forum here in hopes to receive some/any form of help and/or feedback. I’m 16/M and suffer from Charcot Marie Tooth, a congenital genetic condition that’s left my outer muscles (my forearms and hand muscles / my calves and ankles) essentially atrophied and terribly weak. The irony is I actually enjoy working out and have stronger inner(?) muscles like my arms, pecs, quads, core and so on.
    My condition has left me unable to run, or for that even unable to do a single calf raise on both legs with just my bodyweight (circa 70kg).
    I really don’t know what to do or how I can recover my calf muscles (or for that also my forearm and grip strength). If you have any insight to share with me, please do, I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Edo.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You could try a seated calf raise - many gyms have these. if you can't get to a gym, you can do it by sitting in a chair, putting a weight on your knees and raising and lowering your ankles, pushing with the balls of your feet. It can also help to put a block of wood under the balls of your feet so that you can increase the range of movement you can move through.
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  3. #3
    Registered User edowork's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You could try a seated calf raise - many gyms have these. if you can't get to a gym, you can do it by sitting in a chair, putting a weight on your knees and raising and lowering your ankles, pushing with the balls of your feet. It can also help to put a block of wood under the balls of your feet so that you can increase the range of movement you can move through.
    Thank you I will definitely try doing so!
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  4. #4
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    Good idea for the calf raises above^^^

    For the forearms, pick up one of those gel filled stress balls that you can squeeze with your hand. Alternate hands when one gets tired; use as often as you can.

    You could also try using a light weight in your hands, rest your forearms on your legs out in front of you, with your hands palm-up, hanging off out in front of your knees. Lower and raise your hands to contract your forearms. You can also do this in reverse, with your palms facing down, to work the top of your forearm.

    Best of luck to you! There's lots of helpful, knowledgeable people on here so ask away!
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  5. #5
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    Do you have access to a rower? I found my calf strength increased when I started using one. The pulling movement will also help forearm and grip strength. It's also a great total body cardio conditioning workout, which it sounds like you may benefit from.
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    Registered User Daniel1836's Avatar
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    Is it just me? But I've been getting like 10x better calf gains doing tip toe walks with dumbells lately, over months and months of using the calf machines at the gym.
    I'm considering not even investing time on the seated calf raise machine, and just doing tip toe walks?

    Do you guys think i'm just not using the right technique?
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  7. #7
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Daniel1836 View Post
    Is it just me? But I've been getting like 10x better calf gains doing tip toe walks with dumbells lately, over months and months of using the calf machines at the gym.
    I'm considering not even investing time on the seated calf raise machine, and just doing tip toe walks?

    Do you guys think i'm just not using the right technique?
    Seated calf raise can be hit or miss for some people. You may want to try doing your calf raises standing (legs straight) with a barbell or standing with a db one leg at a time on a stepper so you get full ROM, or in the leg press machine (feet hanging off bottom of foot platform). Squeeze at top and don't bounce.
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    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    Put a mat on the ground under the smith machine, lay on your back and press the bar up and down with your toes
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  9. #9
    Kanye West 2020 🇺🇸 alec935's Avatar
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    People here will laugh but honestly walking worked wonders for me. I had an injury and barely used my calves for like a month, and they shrunk a good amount. Just getting up and walking regularly again grew them back to normal size.

    Recently I've been doing donkey calf raises, seated and standing, but I've put on very little size over their natural walking size.
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  10. #10
    Registered User nitefeatherz's Avatar
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    Walking...or shuffling along at a slow jog without picking my feet up too high (considering I have psoriatic arthritis and my joints hurt). I go to the local park and "run" on one of their paved paths since the gym is closed due to Corona. Getting better at picking up my feet but I'm definitely working my calves!
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