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Short Circuits, Part 8: Calves & Forearms



Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Training Articles
By Mike Berg | Jan 8, 2009



Always running short on time when it comes to these small but important muscle groups? We have the answer: Four 10-minute circuit-training workouts that serve as perfect cappers to any training session.

There are certain truths in the world that are absolute. When choosing between checkout lines at the grocery store, the one you end up bypassing will invariably be faster. Safety videos created by the human resources department will always be drier than a piece of three-day-old toast. And no matter what time of day or night it is, you can be sure that somewhere in the world, someone is shrugging as they leave the gym and saying, "Eh, I'll have time to work my calves and forearms next time."

We can't help improve your line-picking prowess or save you from boring company meetings, but we certainly can help ensure that third scenario never happens to you again. Try one (or more) of these excuse-smashing 10-minute workouts, one each for calves and forearms, and two that combine both muscle groups into one convenient session.

Before you begin, take note of these guidelines. To finish the routines quickly, you'll want to employ a one-second-up/one-second-squeeze-at-the-top/two-seconds-down cadence for every rep, and rest no more than 30 seconds between circuits. Within circuits, the only break between each exercise is the brief period it takes to switch positions and/or equipment for the next movement.

Workout Circuit #1: Calves

Exercise Reps
Standing Calf Raise 15, 15, 12
Seated Calf Raise 15, 15, 12
Weight-Plate Toe Raise 12, 12, 12
Instructions: Repeat the circuit three times through.
The math: 120 total reps at 4 seconds per rep = 480 seconds, or 8 minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between the first and second and second and third circuits, totals 9 minutes, leaving 1 minute for switching from exercise to exercise within the circuit.
Note: To do the front toe raise, sit at the end of a bench with your feet on the floor or with your heels on a small block. Place a weight plate over each toe (or one plate over both) and lift your toes up in the air, keeping your heels on the floor, for 12 reps.

Workout #2: Forearms

Exercise Reps
Behind-the-Back Barbell Wrist Curl 15, 15, 15
Standing Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl 15, 15, 15
Dual Hammer-Style Dumbbell Wrist Curl 10, 10, 10
Instructions: Repeat the circuit three times through.
The math: 120 total reps at 4 seconds per rep = 480 seconds, or 8 minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between each circuit totals 9 minutes, leaving 1 minute for switching from exercise to exercise within the circuits.
Note: You can do this whole circuit at a flat-bench-press station. For the behind-the-back wrist curl, straddle the bench, facing away from the bar (placed in the rack), and grasp the bar with both hands '" it will rest across your glutes. Curl the weight up and down with your wrists through the full range of motion. Next, turn around and, with a palms-down grip, take the bar in your hands so it's at the front of your hips, and curl the bar upward and lower it through a full range of motion for 15 reps. Finally, grasp two dumbbells and sit at the end of the bench, placing both forearms flush against the pad between your open legs; with palms facing each other throughout, wrist-curl the weights up and down.

Workout #3: Calves & Forearms

Exercise Reps
Donkey Machine Calf Raise 15, 15, 12
Leg-Press Calf Raise 15, 15, 12
Standing Barbell Reverse Curl 12, 12, 12
Instructions: Repeat the circuit three times through.
The math: 120 total reps at 4 seconds per rep = 480 seconds, or 8 minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between the first and second and second and third circuits, totals 9 minutes, leaving 1 minute for switching between the various equipment within the circuits.
Note: The two calf exercises in this workout both hit the gastrocnemius, which is the larger, meatier muscle on the back of your lower leg. To hit the smaller but still important soleus muscle, replace one of the movements with the seated calf raise instead.

Workout #4: Forearms & Calves at Home

Exercise Reps
Barbell Wrist Curl (off bench) 15, 15
Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl (off bench) 15, 15
Dumbbell Calf Raise (on stairs) 15, 15
Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise 15, 15
Instructions: Repeat the circuit twice through.
The math: 120 total reps at 4 seconds per rep = 480 seconds, or 8 minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between the circuits totals 8 and a half minutes, leaving 1 and a half minutes for switching from exercise to exercise within the circuits.
Note: To do the seated dumbbell calf raise, sit at the end of a bench with your toes on a raised block and a dumbbell in each hand, flat end resting on your thighs nearer your knees. From there, raise and lower your heels for reps.







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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.





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