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Friday, November 23, 2012
ICE CREAM CONES AND TOOTH-PICKS
Usually men are larger in the upper body while women are larger in the lower body to support carrying an unborn child. But how many times do you go into the weightlifting room in the summer and see those men with nice developed and sculpted upper bodies and underneath their shorts, you become amazed at how un-proportional the sticks that are showing, are to the upper body? They must have the same brains as Johnny Bravo!
Then you start to notice that these individuals are training one upper body muscle group per day, adding a couple of leg muscle exercises on a small group muscle day and even training the calf muscles on a separate day…People! When you are searching to be healthy and quality of life, or even to sculpt your body, that means not only the exercising and eating habits should be looked at, but also the symmetry of your body. In order to attain symmetry, especially if you have imbalances due to injuries, those muscle groups should be the ones that the most attention should be paid to, and not the parts that are already in good shape.
The question is can genetics of a certain body part be improved? If you are doing resistance training you are always trying to improve your physical appearance one way or another with a proper work out…so like any other muscle group your calf muscles, or your gastrocnemius, and even deeper muscles the soleus can be trained to become proportional to your upper body with the right type of program, desired result consideration, and most of all persistence.
There are many exercises that can be used for training the calf muscles. You can exercise them without any help of equipment by doing heel raises, making sure you stand on the balls of your feet lifting your heels up then lowering them so that the toes come towards your shin. That is why it should be done on a higher level, and the intensity can be increased doing them one-legged, and by holding a dumbbell. You also have the choice of the machines, such as the standing heel raise machine and the seated heel raises on the donkey machine. They can also be done on the different types of Leg Press Machines (inclined, vertical and horizontal). Different areas of the calf muscles can be targeted with adopting the inward or outward position of the feet. But as mentioned before, there is a need to take into consideration the right technique and form, and then the correct type of training for results, where they say that they grow when you feel the burn during their training. In this case it is hypertrophy of the calf muscles, so number of repetitions, sets and rest interval in between should all be considered when performing them without bouncing, jerking, and making sure they are done in the full ROM. Then for maximal results, set the right time for rest in between the workouts. This means you also have to consider that if you are training the thighs and hamstrings on a certain day, and including the Leg Press and different variations of the Squat, you are also training your calf muscles.
Remember that appropriate footwear is needed to ensure posture, and also to avoid the slipping of your feet from the foot platform from where you are training. Besides training your calves to catch up to the body parts that are perfectly sculpted, and exercising other muscles of the lower legs (shin muscles), it also gives stability to your knees (where the gastrocnemius originates), to your ankles where all the muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) are attached to, avoiding Aquilles tendonitus, ankle sprains, and takes the stress off the ligaments and bones of the knees, to distribute it to these muscles, especially after some type of knee injury.