The sled calf press is an isolation exercise which builds muscle and strength in the Gastrocnemius, or calf muscles. This is a very functional exercise for the calves and it also helps with ankle mobility, so anyone can comfortably do this exercise with good form and a proper amount of resistance.
Now, since the calf muscles are known to be very stubborn, it’s important to train them hard and heavy. But, it’s not advised to just jump into heavy calf training since the ankles are placed under a lot of stress. So, it’s crucial to start slow at first before getting into heavier training sessions.
But, warming up sufficiently is also very necessary to prevent injury and discomfort.
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: Gastrocnemius
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Sled machine/leg press
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Lie on the machine and place the top half of your feet on the bottom part of the platform so the bottom half of your foot is hanging off.
- Then, press the platform up until your legs are straight and undo the weight support handles so you can train with a full range of motion.
- Bend your knees slightly and flex your calf muscles as far as you can by pressing your toes forward. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Now, slowly allow your toes to move backward until you feel a slight stretch in your calves. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- Always start light and warm up with high reps (15-20)
- Never jump into heavy weight as you can damage your tendons.
- Keep a slight bend in your knees during the exercise.
- The sled calf press effectively works the Gastrocnemius (Calves).