Jessica Boyington,“Miss New Jersey USA 2006, demonstrates the correct technique for performing the “Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise Exercise.”
Because they’re the part of the legs you rely on the most, the calves require extra effort to achieve shapely results. Here’s how to take a step in the right direction.
By Mike Mauney
Training the calf muscles can be extremely challenging. It’s not only the hardest part of the leg to change, but also the hardest part of the entire body to change! It is by far the one area that has been and always will be the most difficult to reshape.
The reason is due to the fact that these are the muscles that you use the most everyday. When you get out of bed, your feet hit the floor and your calf muscles start lifting your body weight first, then the weight goes up through the rest of your leg and body. Each time you take a step, along with lifting the weight of your entire body, you are also stretching and contracting the calf muscles. By the end of the day, just imagine how many steps you have taken and how often you have used your calf muscles.
Your calves really get a workout without even exercising them! Everytime you walk up and down steps, your calves increase their use beyond walking on level ground. All of this extra work, above and beyond all other muscles, is something you never think about. This is why training and changing the shape of your calf muscles is so difficult. Because your calves already get a major workout through your everyday movements, when you begin training your calves, you must exercise with weights that will push them past their normal limits of everyday movement.
Let’s take a closer look at what is actually taking place thoughout the day with your calf muscles. Your heel touches the ground first which actually stretches your calf muscle. Next the ball of your foot, combined with your toes, lift your body up and forward to the next step with the opposite leg, and so on... . So whatever your weight may be, 110 lbs or 210 lbs., this
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise Exercise
• Stand on one foot at a time, on a step, at least three or four inches above the floor.
• Place the ball of your foot next to the edge of the step.
• Place your hand against a wall or handrail to keep your balance.
• Hold a heavy dumbbell in opposite hand.
• Push up on the ball and toes of your foot as high as possible. (Squeeze your calves as tight as possible at the top of this movement.)
• Lower your heel as low as possible below the edge of the step and stretch out your calf.
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Mike Mauney is a personal fitness trainer certified by the National Federation of Professional Trainers. Mike specializes in personal fitness training for women of all ages. For 15-plus years, he has been training dancers, models, cheer-leaders, and pageant and swimsuit contestants of all ages and competition levels (local, state, national, and international). His daughter, Michelle Mauney-Lowery, was Miss North Carolina USA 1995. Some of Mike’s training credits includes the following: Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley, Miss Teen USA 2004 Shelley Hennig, Mrs. International 2004 Tammy McDonald, Miss USA 2003 Susie Castillo, Mrs. International 2002 Tonya Matney, Miss United States World 2001 Carrie Stroup, Mrs. United States 1999 Janice Ward, Miss Teen USA 1998 Vanessa Minnillo, and Mrs. America 1994 Keyna Baucom.