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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do people here incorporate calf workouts to weight training? I don't ever hear this muscle group come up much for cyclists. It doesn't seem like I notice using the calves when I'm riding. So is it worth it to incorporate a calf workout?
 

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I did calf raises last month. Its part of my weigth training. However, I do not concentrate on them that much as the season progresses. I tend to focus on leg presses more so.
 

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Wow, how do you pedal then? I'm curious for real as I notice using my calves all the time. Not big time feeling them, but definitely feel them pumped after a ride. I pedal heel down, but recently injured my knee and had to pedal out a long hill to get home and pedalling toe down did not hurt the knee and when I got home my calves were killing me.

fanghasyou said:
........... It doesn't seem like I notice using the calves when I'm riding. ...........
 

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LyNx said:
Wow, how do you pedal then? I'm curious for real as I notice using my calves all the time. Not big time feeling them, but definitely feel them pumped after a ride. I pedal heel down, but recently injured my knee and had to pedal out a long hill to get home and pedalling toe down did not hurt the knee and when I got home my calves were killing me.
It's pretty common knowledge that the calf muscle does very little during pedaling, basically stabilizes the leg, not much else.
 

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Calves are probably more loaded during downhills than pedaling. But for me, my upper body is still the limiter for downhills.

I work calves in the weight room, but it's more for aesthetics. We have a "sexy legs" contest at our series finals. Good looking calves scores big points. I won 50 bucks last season!!
 

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I think maybe it's more the foot they help stabilize, either way if you have smaller calves you have to work harder and keeping proper form and if you get a in a situation like I did needing to power down with your foot extended it's that much harder on them - JMHO.

Rivet said:
It's pretty common knowledge that the calf muscle does very little during pedaling, basically stabilizes the leg, not much else.
 

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Interesting, roadies, seem to halve bigger calves, I am ususally a bit toe down when pedalling at Pace.

I use my calves, and they are improving.

Even if I was heel down, there would be some calf work, since I would not just jam out to max tendon stretch.

Secondly, I believe the more muscle fibers that can contribute energy to the pedal, the more power will be available. I don't try to increase calf usage, but it is there.
 

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I work them and feel it is of benefit. The way I've started working them is, I'll hold a dumbell in the same hand as the calf I'm working and have the opposite foot slightly off the floor. For example to work my right calf I'll hold the weight in my right hand and have my left foot off the floor, then do my calf raises with my right side.

This helps build better balance and works the calves at same time.
 

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fanghasyou said:
Do people here incorporate calf workouts to weight training? I don't ever hear this muscle group come up much for cyclists. It doesn't seem like I notice using the calves when I'm riding. So is it worth it to incorporate a calf workout?
If you're doing leg presses on that sled thingy, it is super easy to incorporate toe raises at the end of your leg press set.

I do a set of leg presses, then adjust my feet down the sled to do toe
raises, then go back and do 2 more leg press reps just to bathe in the pain before putting the weight down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
crashtoomuch said:
If you're doing leg presses on that sled thingy, it is super easy to incorporate toe raises at the end of your leg press set.

I do a set of leg presses, then adjust my feet down the sled to do toe
raises, then go back and do 2 more leg press reps just to bathe in the pain before putting the weight down.
Yeah, thats what I used to do when I was weight lifting alot. There's a machine that is just for calve raises at the gym I go to which is pretty nice.
 

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if your standing, (on your pedals) your calf muscles must contract to keep your foot flat, or parallel to the ground. most mtbers stand to traverse rough terrain, thereby making calfs very important. do standing and sitting calf raises as the calf is actually 2 muscles. high reps (15-20) with lower weight will give them endurance for longer rides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Random Drivel said:
Calf workouts are for bodybuilders. No need to do them.
Well, I am also an avid basketball player and in order to jump high requires strong explosive calves. I don't think it applies to mtbing nearly as much, but anything to make me faster I will be willing to do. And a calve workout is relatively easy to do.
 

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pedaling technique

There is a technique for training called ankling I've heard about somewhere. It has gone out of style but was used in the past.
When you are training on your bike you point your foot at the bottom of the stroke and flatten your foot at the top. You can also try to move the foot backward at the bottom like you are pushing a skateboard. On the top you try to push the foot forward.
These techniques are used to lessen dead spots or flat spots in your pedaling technique.
They should be used at a higher cadence. Maybe 80 to 100 rpm.
If you are ankling or using other techniques for spinning better circles you are using different muscle groups than just mashing the pedals. Your calves would be one of those groups.
 

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I do calf raises, mostly for aesthetic reasons (no point in lying about it) and secondly for running, which I don't do much anymore. I just use the stairs in my house.

I know my calves aren't as sore as quads after long/hard rides, but I find it hard to believe that they don't do much during pedalling, especially since cyclists usually have bigger and more defined (sexier...:winker: ) calves than normal people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would say that when your standing and climbing up a hill, calves are used more. And no matter how strong my calves get and how much I work them (I used to be able to dunk and my calves were still small), I suffer from the chicken leg syndrome.
 
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