• Pumping Iron's Standing Calf Machine

    [caption id="attachment_12950" align="alignright" width="188"]Lou & Pumping Iron Calf Machine Lou with Pumping Iron Calf Machine[/caption] I'm a collector. I collect everything from Hulk action figures to pop culture masks to comics. In fact, I would collect gym equipment if I had the space. Still, there is one special piece in my home gym that I made room for. It's the standing calf machine from the original Gold's Gym. Joe Gold actually made this machine by hand. Joe made most of the equipment that were in his gyms. It's been brought back to life several times now and still does the job. This old-timer has trained some greats - having been at Gold's in 1975 during the filming of Pumping Iron. Here's how to get 'er done on the calf machine like a pro. THE WEIGHT Start low. You want a load that's challenging while using proper form. THE FORM
    • Adjust the machine to fit your height. Place your shoulders under the pads.
    • Stand up tall. Pull your abs in. Don't arch your back.
    • Place the balls of your feet on the platform with your heels hanging over the side.
    • Keep your knees slightly bent. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times.
    • Grasp handles firmly.
    THE SET Tackle three sets of 15-20 reps. Move your toes with each set - toes straight forward, toes out, toes in. THE MOVEMENT While inhaling, lower your heels down to the lowest position - don't let the stack slam down. Exhale and slowly raise your heels up as high as you can go - don't swing. Hold here for 2 counts. Repeat. VARIATIONS [caption id="attachment_12948" align="alignright" width="300"]Calf Muscles Calf Muscles[/caption] If you don't have access to a standing calf machine, you can also use:
    • Seated Calf Machine
    • Barbell or Dumbbells
    • Smith Machine
    BONUS Try a set of  shrugs.  Use same movement, but don't let your heels hang over the edge. Caution: If you have a history of back problems, this exercise may not be for you. Failing to use proper form can put unneeded stress on the back, causing injury.
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