Human calves are made up of the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. The gastrocnemius is the calf muscle that is visible from the outside of the body - it's what makes women's legs look great in high heels and what body builders love to pump. This muscle originates behind the knee on the femur. The Achilles tendon attaches it to the heel. The gastrocnemius is made up of the medial head and the lateral head. This muscle elevates the heel as in plantar flexion. Standing calf raises work the gastrocnemius. Be careful not to hurt your shoulders on the machine. You can actually do this exercise on any raised surface, such as with books, and holds weights for more resistance. This does not strain your shoulders. Do five sets of ten with a weight that gives you a good work out but does not hurt or strain your muscle.
The soleus is under the gastrocnemius on the rear of the lower leg, and is most active when doing calf exercises where the knee is bent, such as seated calf raises. This muscle also raises the heel, but when the knee is bent. Do five sets of ten with a weight that gives you a good work out but does not hurt or strain your muscle.
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Some information from this blog was obtained from http://www.fitstep.com/Advanced/Anatomy/Calves.htm
Accessed on November 28, 2005
Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.