Buying Guide: How to Choose a Calf Block

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

For those who do a decent amount of running, ellipticals, biking, jump roping, or other leg-involved cardio, calves are often muscles that need stretching. However, it can sometimes seem like calves are difficult muscles to sufficiently stretch.

Step 2

Fret no more! Calf blocks will satisfy all of your calf-stretching needs, and more. Read on and get ready for some lower leg relief. |Picking between the cheap and the expensive calf block comes down to two factors: How often do you find yourself needing to stretch your calves and work your legs inside your home; and how much money do you want to spend.

Step 3

If you feel that you need to stretch your calves at the gym, and you don't want to spend a ton of money, then a cheaper, foam calf block pair is definitely for you.

Step 4

If, however, you do a lot of home-cardio, and you could use a slanted platform for increased work on your squats and deadlifts, then buying the more expensive set up is well worth it. Figure out what works best for your personal routine, and then buy one of these pieces of equipment. You won't regret it.

Step 5

There are different types of calf blocks.

Step 6

They can be made of plastic, foam or steel. If the calf block is made of plastic, what is the gauge or thickness?

Step 7

Consider durability. Will it break during heavy or intense use?

Step 8

Consider portability. It is easy to carry to the gym, field, etc. Some calf blocks are stationary and are not meant to move.

Step 9

Consider ease of cleaning and maintenance.

Step 10

Some models come with an instruction manual or training tips.

Step 11

If it includes a warranty, how long is the warranty? Are there any fees associated with getting the item repaired or replaced?

Step 12

Consider width. Wider blocks allow you to situate your feet on the platform and do a variety of squat and deadlift exercises

Step 13

How much weight can the item hold?

Step 14

Do it incorporate special features?

Step 15

It is adjustable?

Step 16

OPTP's slanted calf blocks are latex free, made of a weight-resistance foam, and are sold in a pair. They're extremely light weight and they feel utterly fantastic on the feet and calves. The incline on these slanted blocks is just right, and the foam will make sure that the blocks bounce back time and time again. The best part about this particular product is that it can easily be taken anywhere and everywhere. All you have to do is throw them in a small bag and go. The price for these blocks isn't too bad either, costing under $20.00. For people who are stretching on a budget, OPTP's calf blocks are an excellent choice both price-wise and relief-wise. Check them out and definitely buy a pair.

Step 17

The other calf-block we'll be discussing is Body Solid's Power Lift Squat and Calf Block Platform. This apparatus serves as a multi-tool for all kinds of leg movements. It's 26 inches long, which means you can situate your feet on the platform and do a variety of squat and deadlift exercises. The slight incline of this platform is also great for promoting extra use of the calves during any exercise you perform. At the end of the Calf Block Platform is a bar that runs the 26-inch length, letting you do calf raises in the comfort of your own home. This platform is made out of steel, has a 2,000 pound capacity, and comes with a lifetime warranty. For those who find themselves constantly working their calves for athletics or bodybuilding, this is absolutely the product for you. It is slightly expensive, costing $93.18, but is well worth the price. You can set this thing up in your house. You can stretch, lift, raise, and even use it as a seat if you so desire. So, if you're constantly working your calves (as most of us young athletes and lifters are) then this platform is for you.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

It is important to understand the difference between the type of calf blocks that are sleeves or socks that you wear and the machines or platforms that you use to exercise your calves.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

I did a lot of running for soccer growing up, and eventually I developed a nasty case of shin-splints. I tried to run them off, but that was obviously completely counter-intuitive to the actual solution. Eventually I discovered a calf block in my school gym and began using it as much as possible. I discovered that the relief I got from that block was awesome, and that I wanted to continue that stretching/healing at home. I picked up a cheap pair of foam calf blocks and brought them with me to soccer games, practices, and my bedroom. I started stretching my calves whenever possible and, believe it or not, my shin splints went away. It was hands down one of the best workout related investments of my entire life.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I got my first calf block set when I had shin splints, as I mentioned above. The calf blocks did fantastic things for my physical quandary, and I continued using them even after my shin splints were healed. Having a personal calf block is extremely helpful for any college athlete or weightlifter, and the results will last for years after the calf blocks use has run its course. Grab your own today and start stretching those poor calves. And in the meantime, happy lifting,

Other Tips from Jeremy