The calves muscle can be developed and strengthened through the leg press machine. However, it’s not always the case. In this article, there are so many exercises that you can do such as leg press calf raise to get the calves bigger and stronger. Interestingly, the exercises can be done without the use of the press leg machine.
The leg press calf raise exercise is well known for developing the calves muscles. The passages below give different leg press calf raise workouts alternatives that work the calves muscles. For example, some exercises discussed below include the resistance band leg press, seated resistance leg press, jump rope, donkey calf raise, and more. Whether you have no equipment of minimal equipment at home, you can add muscle mass on your calves. Keep on reading to find out more about the calves exercises.
Leg Press Calf Raise No Machine
You can strengthen your calves without the use of gym equipment or machine. The calf raise can be done without the use of a leg press machine. A leg press calf raise is a workout that is carried on the leg press machine to target the calves muscles. Calves are made of various muscles. These include the soleus, tibialis posterior, and gastrocnemius.
However, if you do not have the machine, you don’t have to give up on developing your calves. There are different exercises that you can do to improve your calves muscle mass. Some exercises that you can do include squats, jump rope, donkey calf raise, and more. If you have minimal equipment you can do smith machine calf raise, seated calf raise with a bar, among other exercises.
Leg Press Calf Raise At Home
You don’t have to visit the gym to grow the calves muscles. There are different exercises that you can do to target your calves. Doing proper exercises can develop your calves muscles to your preferred size. As you exercise at home, you can increase the calves mass with minimal equipment or no equipment. Some exercises include the single leg standing calf raise, standing calf raise, squats, and many others. You can read more on these exercises in leg press calf raise alternatives below.
Leg Press Calf Raise Alternatives
If for some reason you cannot do the leg press calf raise exercise; there are different exercises that you can do to target the legs muscles. The calf raise exercise is good at strengthening the legs and also building muscle mass. In addition to that, the exercise also lowers leg injury risks. Below are exercises that you can do in place of the leg press calf raise exercise:
This is an easy but good exercise that can build big calves. It is good for strengthening your muscles. You can do this exercise indoors or outdoors. To do the jump rope exercise, follow the steps below.
- Hold the rope ends or handles with both hands. Make sure that the ropes suit your height.
- Stand with your feet close to each other. Your knees must also be closer to each other.
- Start flicking the rope over your head and then jump quickly to let it pass under your feet. Make sure that your feet are close to each other as you hop.
- You can jump the rope as fast as you can for 30 seconds to a minute.
Resistance Band Leg Press
The resistance band leg press targets the calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings muscles. The resistance band can be used to put pressure that is created by the leg press machine weight. To do the exercise follow the instructions below;
- Start by lying on your back on the floor.
- Then bend your knees to create a 90-degree angle with your toes pointing upwards.
- Put the band around your feet and hold the other end. Make sure that your feet are close to each other. You can secure the band in your hands by placing the hands on your chest.
- Push your feet up against the resistance band until the legs are fully stretched.
- Then bend the knees to a starting position.
Seated Resistance Band Leg Press
This is another good alternative to the leg press calf raise exercise. Additionally, the exercise emulates the leg press exercise done on leg press machine. To do the seated resistance band leg press exercise, you will need a chair and a resistance band. This exercise challenges your leg muscles thereby strengthening them. Follow the steps below to do the exercise;
- Make sure that your chair is on stable ground.
- Sit on the chair and keep your back flat.
- Then put the band around your feet and hold the other end with your hands above thighs.
- Start pressing your feet up until your legs are straight.
- Return your feet to the starting position.
- Repeat for 12 to 15 times.
Squat Hold Calf Raise
This is another exercise that is good at strengthening and developing leg muscles especially the calves. To do the exercise follow the instructions below;
- Start in a standing position with your feet at shoulder width apart distance and your arms in front of you.
- Lower your body to a squat position and pause in that position.
- Then push yourself up onto your tiptoes and back to the ground. Repeat this move while in the squat position.
- You can do reps as much as you can.
Single Leg Standing Calf Raises
If you don’t have the leg press machine to do the leg exercises, you can do the single leg standing calf raises. The exercise is good for strengthening your leg muscles. To do the exercises follow the instructions below;
- Stand on one leg onto the edge of a step. Make sure you can hold onto something nearby to balance your body.
- Then lower your heel towards the ground then push up with the other leg that is on the step.
- Pause in that position for a second. Return the other leg to the starting position.
- Do several reps on one leg before exercising the other.
Leg Press Calf Raise Muscles Worked
The leg press calf raise exercise is good at building muscle mass around your leg. There are several muscles that get worked when doing the exercise. For instance, some muscles that get engaged include the soleus muscles, gastrocnemius, tibialis. In addition to that, other muscles around the thighs such as quads, hamstrings, and glutes also benefit when you do the leg press calf raise exercises.
Seated Calf Raise
The seated calf raise exercise focus on the soleus muscle. The soleus muscle is under the gastrocnemius muscle and it takes the large portion of the calf muscles. Therefore, working the soleus muscle can give you that diamond-like good-looking calf. To do the seated calf raise follow the instructions below;
- Sit properly on the seated calf machine and put the pads on your thighs. Your knees must be bent to form a 90-degrees angle.
- Before unlocking the machine; lift the heels to lift the weight. Make sure that your back is straight.
- Lower your heels towards the floor to lower the weights. Don’t forget to inhale.
- Lift the weights as high as you can by raising your heels. Exhale as you lift the weights.
- Repeat the motion to complete your preferable reps.
Donkey Calf Raise
If you want to work your soleus and gastroc muscles; the donkey calf raise exercise is the right exercise for those particular muscles. You can follow the instructions below to execute the exercise properly;
- Put an aerobic step on the floor behind a waist height railing object.
- Step onto the step and place your feet at the edge and then hold onto the rail to bend your body.
- Lower your heels slowly towards the floor. You can lower the heels as far as possible. Pause in that position and count up to 2.
- Then you can lift your heels as high as you can and squeeze your calves. Pause in that position for a second or two.
- Lower the heels and repeat.
- You can do your preferable sets and reps.
Leg Press Calf Raise Reddit
The Reddit community has a lot of suggestions when it comes to leg press calf raise exercises. Some people say that the Smith machine calf raise is good for developing the calf muscles. In addition to that, other people suggest exercises such as donkey calf raise, squats, among others.
When it comes to muscles worked by the leg press calf raise exercises; some people argue that this exercise is good as the standing calf raise. Therefore, it primarily targets the gastrocnemius. However, you can also exercise the soleus muscles.
Having big calves that also stronger can be effectively done at home with or without equipment. There are various exercises discussed above that can give your legs a thorough workout. Surprisingly, the resistance band calf raise gives you experience that you would encounter when using the press leg machine to do the leg press calf raise exercise.
There are a lot of exercises that you can do without gym equipment and are also safe to do them at home. For example, one of the effective exercises is donkey calf raise. In addition, you don’t need gym equipment to do this exercise, but it hits your calves thoroughly. These are the highlights of the exercises that you can do to develop the calves. You can re-visit the above passages to get more of the exercises that target the calves.
Which exercises do you recommend for building and strengthening the calves? Share your experiences below.