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Fancy footwork gives calves a better workout

Spikykite

Spikykite

Senior Member
Feb 14, 2011
183
14
#1
Bodybuilders looking for bigger calves may get better results by doing their calf-raises alternately with their toes turned out and turned in. Sports scientists from Armstrong Atlantic State University have published their findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

The researchers did experiments with 10 male and 10 female subjects in their mid-twenties. The subjects had to do calf-raises while carrying a bar with weights across their shoulders. The combined weight of the bar and weights was 130 to 150 percent of their bodyweight.

The researchers placed electrodes on the medial and lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle. This enabled them to measure how hard the calf muscles had to work.


The subjects did their free-weight calf-raise in the classical way [Neutral], but also with their toes turned inwards [Internal rotation] and with their toes turned outwards [External rotation].


The figure immediately below shows the muscle activity during the concentric movement – as the subjects push the weight upwards. The lower figure shows the activity during the eccentric movement. The light bars represent the lateral head and the black bars the medial head of the gastrocnemius.





The graphs indicate that during the concentric phase you stimulate the lateral head more if your toes are turned inwards. During the eccentric phase you stimulate the medial head better if your feet are turned outwards. And before you ask: yes, the differences are statistically significant.

The researchers didn't measure the extent to which the different ways of doing the calf-raise actually result in stronger or bigger calves.

Source:
J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Mar;25(3):634-9.
 
scarl3tbutt3rfly

scarl3tbutt3rfly

TID Lady Member
Feb 25, 2011
312
6
#2
Hmm..interesting. I always wondered if it matter that much whether you were turning your toes out or in. Good to know it does make a difference! Thanks!
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,069
4,626
#3
So you're supposed to change the angle of your toes mid rep? Doesn't that kinda put you at risk of injury????
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#4
So you're supposed to change the angle of your toes mid rep? Doesn't that kinda put you at risk of injury????
no, you do say 10 reps with them neutral, then 10 reps with toes out and then 10 reps with toes in. this is very old school info. i used to do them this way all the time when i was a youngster.
 
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