T Nation

Standing calf raise with free weights

How do you guys do free weight calf raises? I do mine in a squat rack with the platform for my feet set back so that I lean forward a little and scrape the bar up the uprights of the squat rack. I do this for balance (I can’t do them standing straight up and just going up and down without something to balance me). Problem is as the weight climbs the squat stand is starting to fall over with me and the weight pressing against it. Do you follow what I mean? I work out at home, and don’t have a Smiths machine which would solve my problem.

You could try Coach Davies’ exercise from the Renegade Bodybuilding article called the rocking calf raise. It requires more balance but I started including it in my regular workouts.

Do 'em one leg at a time while holding a dumbell. Use the other hand for balance.

Instead of using a barbell, I used to use a weight belt, with plates hanging between my legs. Worked great for high reps. The only problem is if you have strong calves and want to use a lot of weight, it gets pretty awkward with 5 or more plates down there!

apwellin - Get some extra plates and stack them to a desired height. Stand on the plates so your heels are hanging of the edge of the plates. Hold a weighted barbell behind you (up against your butt) and lean forward (keeps your ballance) and raise up - hold - lower. Also if you seem to wobble side ways, try a slightly wider stance with your feet slightly pointed outwards (still leaning forward).

I agree with stately plump guy. Do them one-legged with a dumbell in one hand and use the other hand for balance. If I were you, though, I would keep trying to do them with the weight on your back and balance on your own. The fact that you have to try harder to balance the weight and that it takes more concentration is a good thing. A trick to help keep your balance is to stare at a point a few feet in front of your feet on the ground. Use a lighter weight untill the balancing gets easier (it will get easier, you just have to keep training).