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  1. #1
    Registered User Sun tzu's Avatar
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    Barbell Calf raises

    I've been doing standing barbell calf-raises and as the weight is getting heavier, I'm starting to feel pressure on my back. I already do many exercises involving axial loading and was wondering if it is worth loading the back even more for a less important area.

    My calves are lagging and don't want to neglect them.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You could do one leg at a time and reduce the weight used by (more than) half

    If you aren't already doing this, put the balls of your feet on a raised block of wood to increase the ROM as much as possible.
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  3. #3
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    One-legged, on a block, using one db at your side (or a plate if you don't have dbs) and lightly holding rack/wall with other hand for balance. No back loading, need very little weight & easier to control bouncing reflex.
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    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    Normally I just use dumbbells for standing, but at some point grip may hold you back(unless you're regularly training it which you should be, in which case grip won't be a problem here), so you'll want to switch to a safety squat bar, a loaded weight belt, a backpack, or a weight vest. One foot calf raises are an excellent choice here, very high activation and forces you to take the weight way way down - the stress per pound is much higher here. I'll probably get a little hate for saying it, but with calves I particularly like the seated calf raises(mount the bar on safeties/j-cups in the rack at an appropriate height for where you're sitting, and use a squat pad or rolled up towel to protect thighs). It eliminates the stability issue, but the downside is because of how strong the calves are in this position, requires a considerable amount to stimulate them. Anyways, if i'm doing standing raises I typically use a weight belt to free my hands up, and if i'm doing seated I use a barbell in a rack with a pad on it. Easy peasy.
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    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    If you don't want to load your spine, use the leg press machine, it's awesome for calves. I never liked standing calf raises on a block much because half the time I'd lose balance before I hit failure, since as I got tired the balance got harder. The only thing to worry about on the leg press is your knees folding backwards
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