This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
As their name suggests, incline calf presses strengthen your calf muscles, which power your spring for jumping and running movements. This exercise can be done while resting between incline leg presses, giving you a full leg workout.
Seated on the incline press machine, place the balls of your feet on the pad, no more than shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent (see Photo 1). Before you begin this exercise, make sure the safety handles on each side of the machine are locked.
- From the starting position, push the pad with the balls of your feet, as if you were going to spring off the platform. Push as far as you can so that you feel the flex in your calves (see Photo 2).
- Hold the flex position for a second before returning to the starting position (see Photo 3).
- Repeat the motion 12 times, then rest for eight seconds with your calves in the stretched-out position (see Photo 4). Do another set of 12 reps, then rest eight seconds again. Finish by doing as many reps as possible with a quicker, controlled movement.