How To Do The Barbell Calve Raise
Place the barbell hooks just below shoulder height so you don't have to go up on your tippy toes to un-rack and re-rack the bar.
Take a wider than shoulder width grip. Whatever is most comfortable. Shrug your shoulders up and press your upper traps into the bar. Break at the knees and hips and squat out of the barbell hooks. Take two steps back into a shoulder width stance with your toes facing forward.
In our demo video, I am performing the exercise flat on the ground. You can get a longer range of motion by putting a plate or a small step in front of you to place the balls of your feet on. This will let you flex your ankles to a much greater extent.
Start flat footed. Pull your heels up as high as your ankle range of motion will allow for. You should feel a hard contraction in your calf muscle. Spend an extra second in this contracted position before going back to the starting point.
Be careful with this exercise. It can be alluring to use too much weight. If you are having trouble maintaining a neutral spine, or are unable to keep your knees mostly extended, then the weight is too heavy. Your central nervous system is very smart. If you approach this exercise with the mindset of simply getting from point A to point B, your nervous system will begin to recruit your quadriceps into the movement by slightly flexing and extending your knee joints.