Calf raises safety question

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    Jun 29, 2010 6:23 AM GMT
    Is it safe to point your toes inward or outward when doing calf raises? Does it help muscle development to do so? Google is giving me conflicting input X_X
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    Jun 29, 2010 12:01 PM GMT
    I cannot imagine how you could injure yourself on these in any way whatsoever. Mind you, I'm sure there is a way.
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    Jun 29, 2010 12:04 PM GMT
    Perhaps if you have poor balance, and you fall while pointing your toes inward?! icon_neutral.gif

    Calf raises aren't the most grueling of exercises. I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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    Jun 29, 2010 3:20 PM GMT
    Buffhunk64 saidAs I have discovered on this site, no one likes to hear the truth especially if it conflicts with deeply held beliefs reinforced by various non-professional websites. That being said, the proper foot positioning for any leg exercise is lining up your middle toe so it points straight forward, making sure your knee is aligned with that middle toe. In this position, you get the proper muscle contraction and will not put strain on any knee ligaments or your ankle joint.

    While I do not work for some body building web site, this is the information I have received in attaining my personal trainer certifications....again not as reliable as a website trying to sell protein shakes, but my clients like the results they get.


    I've never heard that definitively the feet must always point forward in any of my ACSM certification texts or from any instructor in my VCCS certification.

    There is logic behind varying your foot position in calf raises. Just as you can change the focus on the muscle of a bicep curl by extending your forearms laterally away from the sagittal plane as opposed to the more traditional anterior flexion, you can change the calf raise exercise by pointing the feet medially.

    One of my instructors who is ACE certified and also has a degree in Health Sciences actually recommended said exercise of calf raises with feet in a inward position.
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    Jun 29, 2010 4:36 PM GMT
    The direction that the feet point during calf raises has no effect on strengthening the calf muscle. The proper way to do calf raises is with the toes pointing forward.

    However, the position that you perform calf raises (sitting or standing) does play a role in calf strengthening. Standing calf raises strengthen both the gastroc and soleus musculature. Sitting calf raises isolate the soleus muscle.

    The gastroc is the more superficial muscle of the two that originates proximal to the knee joint and inserts at the calcaneus (heel) via achilles tendon. The soleus is the deeper of the two calf muscles that originates distal to the knee joint and also inserts at the calcaneus (heel).
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    Jun 29, 2010 7:01 PM GMT
    I do calf raises with my toes pointing forward, but I also do "pigeon-toed" and "duck-footed" positions as well. I really feel it working the calves all 'round.

    As long as the weight is something you can handle, I don't see how it would be a problem.

    But that's just me.
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    Jun 30, 2010 11:20 AM GMT
    Thanks guys. I think I'm going to conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support the safety of pointing your toes inward or outward during calf raises. icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 30, 2010 3:09 PM GMT
    Do workouts with your toes pointed in and out. When you eventually get hurt, make a mental note of which position your toes were in. Then you'll have your answer. icon_razz.gif
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    Jun 30, 2010 10:56 PM GMT
    Darn, I was expecting some kind of novelty video featuring a talking cow.
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    Jul 01, 2010 1:11 AM GMT
    Go to the beach and run on the sand. Best calf workout ever!