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Article care of midwestsupplements.com
It's amazing to me how many people don't understand the relationship of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles which make up the calves and how to properly train each for complete calf development. People will often ask me if I like seated or standing calf raises better. This is a crazy question to ask if you understand how each muscle works.
The gastrocnemius is the meat of the calf. It's the heart shaped muscle that sticks off the back of the lower leg that most people refer to as the calf muscle. The soleus is located beneath the gastroc. It is the fan shaped muscle that you can see coming out the bottom of the gastroc. In order to have nice, full shaped calves with both width and depth, you need to have both muscles fully developed.
The gastrocnemius is best worked with your legs in a straight position. Standing calf raises, calf presses, and donkey calf raises are the best exercises for hitting the gastroc. These exercises *WILL NOT* stimulate the soleus to any degree that would result in growth. The soleus can only be stimulated while the knees are bent. Therefore, the seated calf raise is really the only effective way to train it.
If you have only been doing one type of calf raise during your calf work and have been wondering why your development isn't up to par, now you know. Try doing calf raises with your legs both straight and bent and you should start seeing some new gains!
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