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Whenever I move up in weight on the calf press, my feet hurt so bad (along the bottom/outside of foot from top of heel to bottom of ball.) It's kind of an extreme tenseness, and it hurts like a beast. I don't feel my calves really being worked at the lower weights, and this problem persists even when I do more reps of less weight. I tried doing calf raises instead (with no added weight,) and I have the same problem, only maybe not quite so bad. I can fight through it (although it really restricts the quality of my reps because my feet are so tense and I don't have quite the range of motion,) but I don't want to, like, destroy my feet or anything crazy like that. I can only assume that the reason for this is that the foot muscles kind of work in conjunction with the calf muscles for the motion in this exercise, and foot muscles are not nearly as strong as calves, so they're just really strained and that's why they hurt... but is there anything I can do about it? Any better exercises to do that concentrate the motion on the calves more specifically? OR should I just not worry so much about calves specifically and keep up with the calf press but lift less weight because strengthening both feet and calves will help my running? grazie mille.

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Have you tried calf raises using a block and the smith machine? I prefer this to any machine calf press.
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