T Nation

Calf Exercises?



I'm doing standing calf raises and the CW programme im on calls for seated and or donkey calf raises.Problem is my gym doesent have those items of equipment.Now I know you could do donkeys with a dip belt but seeing as im reping 300kg for standing CR's, I dont know how i'd put on enough weight on the belt to work the calves properly? Can anyone give me some good calf exercies I can sub donkeys and seated calf raises for???

Thank's :slight_smile:

P.S Im currently doing leg presses with only toes as my alternative to seated calf rasies!? not sure if these are effective though?.


You can do zercher squats on your toes. It probably teaches bad squat form, but it had an effect on my calves.


I assume you mean with his heels on plates?


No, no, I mean on your toes. It was in a Bob Hoffman book; http://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/Hoffman/barb/barb01.htm
Only he calls it a 'deep knee bend'. And his aren't zercher. If I did these at all, I'd do the zercher version or the front squat version to give myself more control over the bar.


I usually do calf raises with a leg press machine.Sounds kinda weird,but it can really leave you sore after and works a lot better for me.


"We are the knights who say Knee!"


Wow...I'd never be able to balance like that.


Thank's im going to try this.Though I doubt due to balance if I'd be able to go very heavy.


Do you just use your toes,when you do your calf raises? or is it a full leg press with a normal stance?



Put the tampon on, and some weights. Lower the bar to knee height and sit on a bench with one knee under the bar.

Some plates under your toes and voila, seated calf presses a volent?.

Donkey raises?


Put the bar at hip level. Bend over away from the machine. Back up untill your pelvis is under the bar (and under the tampon if you're smart).
Again, some plates under your toes and you're all set to go.


I found a good calf exercise in Milo. You start out on a small lift for your toes, 1-1.5 inches. Now do standing calf raises while holding on to DBs. Start with two feet at a time and work toward one. Balance is an issue but your calves seem to get better stimulation from the extra balancing. As you progress you can add thickness to your toe lift, maybe 2.5-3 inches.

Another benefit from doing this exercise is that I have much greater balance when doing single leg exercise like lunges, 1-leg squat, 1-leg deadlift.